We’ve beat this to death I think, not the question necessarily but testing itself. We’ve flattened it, blamed it, stretched it, bolstered it and torn it down. What we’ve not done is eliminated it. First of all, why do we have state mandated end of course testing? The only logical conclusion is — we do not have teachers we can trust. Otherwise why the redundancy? Why test students on subjects the teachers obviously tested them on already? What’s the point? I am probably stating the obvious but the difference is, I’m laying it all out here — the wounds of the system; we do not trust teachers.
Testing is very expensive, state wide standardized testing. Let’s eliminate the standardized testing in K-12. There’s already a good national testing for admission to college in the ACT/SAT system, paid for by the students. The only other system of testing that could be administered statewide, is a graduation required senior final exam. That would eliminate the school “x”is easier than school “y” so let’s move our kids there mentality.
This is after all, about money. I don’t care how much the school/principal/teacher says they love the school/students they would not be there if it were not for money. So with that as the basis, how much would a school system save if it did not have to test so often? The state pays for the testing but the reality is, they pay for testing out of money that could go to schools if schools/principals/teachers were trusted. So if on an average testing day, a state pays half a million to test all the states students in a particular grade on a particular subject, what could individual school districts be able to do with the money instead? School infrastructure? Teacher raises?
So how would a school insure students received satisfactory instruction? Teacher testing. Test for retention, test for promotion, and hire only qualified teachers for open positions not family and friends as is a common practice in rural schools. Testing to hire, retention, and promotion is used in many professional occupations from the USAF to lawyers. Trust the school districts. Empower them by giving them funds that otherwise would have been spent on the numerous tests. The saving in teachable hours not spent on testing preparation, testing days, and testing recovery alone is worth it.