Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Education New standardized tests a gift to teachers

Kelly talks about new standardized testing in schools.
Posted on Jan. 27, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

What a heartening article in the Elkhart Truth on Jan. 22. High school students will soon be taking “standardized tests that require them to write, think, analyze and solve problems,” leaving behind the

rote memorization and multiple guess testing that has plagued our educational system for too many years (“Updated student tests will focus less on memorization, more on knowledge,” Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle). Using a wide range of reading materials, “the new standards will emphasize critical thinking and problem solving rather than memorization.” Our students just might begin to understand that learning and thinking are fun and rewarding.

Tests will need to be graded by humans rather than computers. This will take more time and, at least in the initial stages, cost more money but the result can be real learning — and not a moment too soon.

The drop-out rates in our high schools is a tragedy, for the students and the country. Disinterested and uncooperative parents are often cited as a major reason schools have disinterested and uncooperative students. Teachers cannot solve that problem. If, however, the system gives teachers the tools and the opportunity to challenge students’ imaginations and curiosity, many young people, never challenged at home, will predictably respond to a more stimulating and rewarding atmosphere at school. At the same time, dedicated students will welcome the thinking over the rote memorization standard.

To have the country’s educational system endorse real teaching and real learning is a long overdue gift to teachers.

Judy Kelly


Posted on July 28, 2014 at 5:38 p.m.
Posted on July 28, 2014 at 5:28 p.m.
 In this June 6, 2014 file photo, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., gestures as he speaks during a gala prior to the start of the Virginia GOP Convention in Roanoke, Va.   Ryan proposed a new plan July 24 to merge up to 11 anti-poverty programs into a single grant program for states that he said would allow more flexibility to help lift people out of poverty, in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute.

Posted on July 28, 2014 at 5:04 p.m.
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