Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Another Anti Testing Letter -

This is from the Boston Globe 5/16/05 and again come from O'hanian's site. Please make sure you read the letter below it is a must read, but this one has some things to say as well.

To the editor

From Michael Brower

Published in Boston Globe (05/16/2005)

SCOT LEHIGH thinks it is ''Time to raise the MCAS bar" (op ed, May 11). But instead of blindly pushing more and tougher testing, we should ask ''what is the purpose of education?"

To do this, consider that the amount of human knowledge is doubling every few years, and it is already so vast that no one could possibly learn even a tiny fraction of it in four or eight years in school. Consider that the knowledge that a young person will need to be a productive person and citizen over his lifetime cannot possibly be learned in advance in any period of four or eight years. Therefore, logically, the purpose of education cannot possibly be to acquire knowledge at all, but rather to prepare students for lifelong learning.

Lifelong learning will come if a student develops a thirst for learning, a will to learn, the confidence that she or he can learn, and some skills in how to learn. MCAS and other standardized testing does not develop any of these; it is more likely to kill them.

We should junk the testing, study what does contribute to lifelong learning, build new innovative schools, hire more creative teachers, reduce class sizes, and put more responsibility on young people themselves to seek, plan, define, promote, and develop their own learning and that of their peers. And, for goodness sake, don't ''raise the bar" on MCAS testing. That would further discourage all but a small, verbally proficient elite and further drive up the already scandalously high dropout rates.

Now read the letter below and I am sure you will see that if learning to be a life long learner is the goal, as I believe it should be, then "schooling as high stakes testing" is not the way to go.

1 comment:

EdWonk said...

We've linked this post at this week's Tales From The Trenches: Classroom Teachers Speak.