• Sandusky Register, May 26
A group of Vermilion High School students made their voices heard at a recent board of education meeting. Their topic: standardized testing.
When the testing was mandated nationally in 2002, the initiative seemed to be the answer — raise educational standards, purge ineffective teachers and ensure no child would leave school without the necessary basics.
Advocates will claim test results have risen and continue to improve. Opponents point to statistics, which counter that claim.
The main sticking point continues to be that teachers are forced to “teach for the test,” without regard to other educational demands.
Memorization of facts, in many cases, has replaced critical and creative thinking.
We can listen to experts – who can’t seem to come to a consensus.
We can listen to teachers who see the merits of the testing and deal with its inadequacies.
On the other hand, we can listen to the students who are the ones who lose out on meaningful curriculum that promotes life skills.
Education researcher Gerald Bracey, PhD, says qualities that standardized tests cannot measure include “creativity, critical thinking, curiosity, endurance, reliability, enthusiasm, compassion, honesty and integrity.”
The Vermilion students who chose to stand up for what they believe and do so in a peaceful manner, might be on to something.
After all, they are the ones who are affected by any decision that puts all students in a single mold.
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