Not meeting the standards


Emma Murphy, Reporter

We all know the routine. We sit and sit and sit and sit through a long 80 minute class. I sit and listen to my teachers but most of the time I don’t hear what they say because I can’t focus.
I don’t have problems focusing. I’m just a high school student struggling to learn in an education system that doesn’t work very well for me.
My teachers are all very different and have different styles of teaching. My math teacher likes to focus on collaboration, we sit in groups instead of rows and he allows us to call out answers when it comes to our brain. But in my other classes we sit in rows and we must raise our hands to speak. We often take notes all period and then never end up discussing those notes.
The current education system was designed and conceived for a different age. We are not the same students we were 100 years ago, yet we are teaching the same way : a teacher at the front of the room, lecturing at an unenthusiastic audience.
Don’t you think after 100 years education should develop as time went on?
Another one of the things that has not changed in OVER 100 years is the administration of standardized tests. Standardized test assess what is taught on the national level. They are used to measure objectives and how schools are meeting educational state standards.
According to Study USA, Standardized testing can provide benchmarks for parents and teachers. This allows parents and teachers to see how a student is doing compared to other students in his or her class, city, and country. It only considers a single test performance upon evaluation. It does not consider how much a student has grown over the course of the year. This can be a disservice to teachers who worked to help their students grow, and students who put in their best effort to improve but performed poorly on one test.
Frederick J. Kelly the man who invented standardized testing stated, “These tests are too crude to be used and should be abandoned,” shortly after he developed them. If the person behind standardized testing said that these tests are wrong, they should be done away with immediately.
There are many alternatives to standardized testing like performance or portfolio-based assessments and inspections.
According to NPR Education, schools around the country are incorporating direct demonstrations of student learning into their assessment programs. These include projects, individual and group presentations, reports and papers and portfolios of work collected over time. Schools in New York State rely on these teacher-created assessments instead of standardized tests. New York Public Schools schools tend to show higher graduation rates and better college-retention rates, while serving a population similar to that of other urban schools.
Inspections are another great alternative to standardized testing. School inspections are still used widely in the U.K. Team of experts usually made up of experienced educators, visit schools and pose questions that can lead to school’s self-reflection and goal-setting.
These are designed to measure higher-order skills like creativity, students’ well-being, and technological literacy as well as traditional academics. Schools and teachers have a lot of control over the methods of evaluation.
Teachers I ask you while we sit in those 80 minutes classes let’s have a discussion instead of taking a test. Challenge me to think instead of constantly testing me.