Thursday, July 24, 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 at 5:22 p.m.
 In this Saturday, July 19, 2014 photo, displaced Christians who fled the violence in Mosul, pray at Mar Aframa church in the town of Qaraqoush on the outskirts of Mosul, Iraq. The message played over loudspeakers gave the Christians of Iraq's second-largest city until midday Saturday to make a choice: convert to Islam, pay a tax or face death. By the time the deadline imposed by the Islamic State extremist group expired, the vast majority of Christians in Mosul had made their decision. They fled.

Posted at 5:15 p.m.
 Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity tweeted this photo of himself with Texas Gov. Rick Perry on a gunboat patrolling the Texas border July 10, 2014

Posted at 4:57 p.m.
Back to top ^