There is a new policy at Molly’s school innocuously called, “Not There Yet.” It mandates a minimum 80% on all tests and quizzes for 7th and 8th graders. Is it a stretch to imagine that this policy is driven by the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program? (TCAP)
Failure to obtain an 80% results in a mandatory “remediation” session after school until the 80% is obtained. Failure to do that results in a three hour detention. By gosh by golly…This kids WILL learn!
So what’s wrong with this? Shouldn’t this assure me my child is in a quality educational program? Isn’t the “Not There Yet” campaign part of an effort to ensure children are absorbing the material?
How much time do you have?
When I think of the children that will never be test takers or the boys who need to work with their hands or the creative souls that need expression…it sickens me to think THIS is how they will judged.
Standardized testing is an irrelevant measurement tool and is not a predictor of future success.
Unless of course you’re looking to train a population who knows how to obey and regurgitate information. And to focus on test scores as the Holy Grail of academic achievement is as foolish as preparing our kids for a job market that was last seen hoofing it to India.
Yes, a baseline of academic material is important, especially in the technical age we live in. (And I could argue about HOW that information is obtained but that is for another day.) But more accurate indicators of success include qualities like: Creativity, likeability, and ingenuity. And what about life skills such as cooking from scratch or building a house? And what about curiosity?
These are things that will never be measured on a standardized test and I contend:
The mind is a terrible thing to standardize.