Question: What are the limitations of state mandated tests?
Answer/Quote: “While testing may suggest some things that children don’t know as well as they should, teachers are already aware that there are many things that children don’t know as well as they should. What these critics of U.S. education fail to realize—or at least admit—is that tests don’t explain why children don’t know what they should.” P. 24.
Comment: The critics have already decided why the children don’t know many things that they should. They blame teachers. What these critics should do is ask teachers why their children don’t know many things that they should. Then maybe we will have defined the problem a little more clearly. At this point, we have an answer—tests---that only tell us what children don’t know. The public needs to ask teachers why.
But teachers need to explain more clearly what they do. And explain what gets in the way of learning. Right now, teachers are fat sitting ducks just waiting to be picked off by hunters who are blaming the nearest target. They dare not blame the real culprits—society, which is what teachers would tell them. They don’t want to hear it. RayS.
Title: “The Problem with U.S. Education: Too Much Criticism, Too Little Commitment.” Ruth Cline and Robert C. Small. Jr. English Journal (November 1994), 21-24.