Standardization

piggy

But how do you know how fat they are, or how fat they need to get, without weighing them in the first place?

 

This week was interesting as I was taking care of one sick ten year old child (stomach bug and all) for two days, followed by the hectic two days of being the family Easter bunny, then two days of a three year old with a stomach bug!  Right when I though I was in the clear, the stomach bug reared its ugly head again and made its way to me. Although this week was a doosey, I am back into action and ready roll (just not to many rotations because I am still a little queasy haha).

Now what you’ve all been waiting for- El Blog’

 

The battle on standardization testing seems to be the hype these days…..Actually it could have always been the hype, and is now more prevalent because of social media, or it could just seem like hype because now that I am older I am more consciously aware of issues on the societal table.  Either way, it was definitely the center of attention for module 6.

assess

Assessment is an important entity within our school systems. We need to be able to evaluate the level of learning occurring, and there are a variety of ways to do so, though the most universal way is through standardized testing. I think standardized tests are important to an extend. However, I don’t think it is ok to use them heavily as a tool for the government to hold over the heads of schools in order to receive funding. I think it is great to give tests, and then allow the students to look back at what they answered vs what the answer actually was, so they can evaluate where to improve. State standardized tests do the opposite of this, there is so much pressure put on the students to perform well, that the student gets stressed out and don’t look to do the best to their ability. They never get a chance to evaluate their own work, only to be evaluated, and then the teacher is held accountable in the end. That is not an effective methodology. How can the student figure out the best way to improve their own learning, if they are not given the chance to do so?

I enjoyed how in this module we got the opportunity to write a letter in response to a new standard surrounding final examinations at SUNY.  I enjoyed this because it helped to prepare me for an actual letter that I need to write to our state assembly. Recently governor Cuomo introduced a new law that will place more weight on standardized testing, a “take it or leave it” package for state funding. My daughters school sent an email asking parents to write a resistance letter in order to save our schools. I will happily do so, because my daughters school is one of the best in the nation (deemed Blue Ribbon in fact) and they even understand the importance of testing in moderation and for receiving funding based on school merit and need, not on factory testing.

The hypothetical scenario we were responding to was that our final assessment would determine our overall GPA.  In Mathew’s letter he spoke about how this system would be an unfair disadvantage to those students who worked diligently throughout the semester by discrediting all of the assignments they turned in; because what if test day was an “off day”. It made me think that yes, if I received A’s all semester and for some reason got a B on my exam, that would drastically change my GPA and I would be devastated. What if another student did weak work and did not try to succeed through the semester and got an A by happenstance? That would not only discourage me from working hard but would in turn encourage students to complete subpar work on assignments, because as long as they understand the information and do well on this one exam, then they are in the clear. That is not teaching for employment, because in the real workforce, employers like to see motivated hard workers, not subpar employees who do only what is minimally expected of them.

Lorraine stated ” Students test scores should not be allowed to judge whether a professor is doing a good job or not.” I agree with her. If a teacher knows that their job relies on one test, they will only teach to the test and not to actual content. Is that fair to the environment of learning? It is most definitely not up to the standards of education we are paying for. I know I am not paying to simplyntake a test, I am paying for a well rounded education.

MKat spoke about how some students are poor test takers and how ” It does not mean that they have not learned the required material or that they have not grown as a learner.” She makes a valid point, especially if those students have attended only private schools. Many private institutions do not have standardized tests, and to be frank, test taking is an art that takes practice. One needs to learn the formatting and ways to best work through testing through trial and error. If students entering in from private schools are thrown into the process, they might not do as well on the test as their abilities lie in the curriculum. My daughter had this detriment coming in from private school to public in fourth grade, it took her about a year to get into a groove that she was comfortable with in test t. If college students have not experienced these tests, then they have a twelve year delay in that art. There are just too many variables and “what ifs” when dealing with humans, to allow one test to carry all the cards, you don’t let one hand determine the value of the deck.

I believe I met all the requirements to the rubric and will take an Ace!