Monday, September 1, 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


 This undated image posted on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, by the Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, a Syrian opposition group, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows a fighter from the Islamic State group, armed with a knife and an automatic weapon, next to captured Syrian army soldiers and officers, following the battle for the Tabqa air base, in Raqqa, Syria. A U.N. commission accused the extremist Islamic State organization of committing crimes against humanity as pictures emerged of the extremists' bloody takeover of the air base.

Posted on Aug. 31, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.
 A man closes off an entrance to the Last Stop outdoor shooting range Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, in White Hills, Ariz. Gun range instructor Charles Vacca was accidentally killed Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 at the range by a 9-year-old with an Uzi submachine gun.

Posted on Aug. 31, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.
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