Teachers should not have to teach to a test. Most states have some kind of standardized test that is given at the end of the year, and teachers must prepare their students to do well on this test.
Maybe a teacher would like to tell an interesting story or show an interesting movie to their students. They really cannot if this material will not be helpful in passing the standardized test. This is what one teacher had to say about her teaching: “traditional” — teacher talks and then students are active for a while. Then I’d check in with them before leaving class. It’s hard when we have 8 forty-minute periods a day.” Says Jennifer Snaidecki, A librarian, “High stakes testing in Indiana makes school life a chore. Unless you’re in honors classes, there’s not much you can do. As a teacher of reading/writing, I read aloud and had independent reading alternating every other day. That worked out for our short periods of time.
Traditional testing will spark a larger debate about the future of education. The few schools that have tried it have found the transition more difficult than they expected. Changing from grades to assessments, or whatever route a school decides to take, is a huge commitment. Students, parents,
and teachers have to be open to new ways of grading, and the students have to be on board by being open minded. Some of the higher achieving students may struggle at first, especially if students in other school districts are still working on a traditional grading system. Kids who have found themselves not working hard anymore because they don’t feel that they can “come back” from poor grades may feel an extra push to work harder.
Students be able to write well, communicate effectively and work together. Samantha Duncan, who is currently enrolled in a university to receive her bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and English sums it up well: students to take control of their own education, which is why I believe in student-centered education. I feel like this style is extremely effective. When
students feel in control of their education they are willing and ready to dive deeper into conversations. With student-centered learning they are in charge of the way the conversation unfolds, and the teacher becomes more of a participant rather than the main acting force.”
In the end, I believe that assessing students’ learning versus rigid grading will lead to more empathy among students, more self discipline, higher academic achievement, and stronger
collaborative skills. If the idea is that we want to produce students who are ready to live and work together in society, why wouldn’t we start early on? Schools want to produce students who will cure cancer, create world peace, etc.