The funny thing about testing in school is that all it truly does is show the understanding an individual has on a certain subject at a given time. Their understanding can change drastically in following months, yet the test score is typically all that matters.
We then go on to judge people by their grades under the illusion that it illustrates their knowledge and qualifications on a certain subject. The sad part is not only how limiting this idea is but how much students stress over such results and judgments. Some can even go as far as feeling their lives are ruined simply because their grades are bad. We can become disheartened and frustrated with ourselves, think we are not smart or intelligent, and even veer away from what we are passionate about simply because of a test score.
What if we all learn differently? What if testing doesn’t really show our understanding of a subject or what if there were better ways of truly evaluating and teaching individuals? Thankfully these types of questions are being asked in a big way these days, as re-evaluating our education system is a hot topic and for good reason – it isn’t effective.
A Challenge From A 4th Grader
Sydney Smoot, a 4th grader, has taken a bold stand against Common Core and her words got the attention of many adults. The young student from Brooksville Elementary in Florida shared her powerful words about the dangerous impact that state standardized testing is having on students.
“This testing looks at me as a number. One test defines me as either a failure or a success through a numbered rubric. One test at the end of the year that the teacher or myself will not even see the grade until after the school year is already over. I do not feel that all this FSA testing is accurate to tell how successful I am. It doesn’t take in account all of my knowledge and abilities, just a small percentage.”
She went on to ask a very important question:
“Why am I being forced to take a test that hasn’t even been tested on students here in Florida, so how can it be valid and accurate on what I know?”
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