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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

This is Why I will not Teach to the Test

This is Why I will not Teach to the Test

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David Wees's picture
David Wees
Formative Assessment Specialist for New Visions for Public Schools

I think this is a brilliant post. I'd read it before and I really appreciate the author's emphasis on deep learning rather than the "one right answer on the multiple choice test" learning.

What do other people think about this?

Bobbie Brown's picture
Bobbie Brown
4th grade math, science & social studies, St. Martha Catholic School, Louisville, Kentucky

Excellent article. It is very frustrating to be at a school where we are being pressured (and rightly so) to go higher up Bloom's taxonomy with HOT questions and raise the bar, yet we have to raise test scores on a multiple choice test which is more about how to read expository text than about conveying what you've learned about content. I can never finish all my standards - the years I have made a concerted effort to try kids get left behind. With math, I find that unacceptable. I was on the math curriculum writing committee for the archdiocese for which I work and we were charged with making the curriculum deeper, with fewer standards. We did not accomplish that because the standardized test was always in the background. (We did improve upon its predecessor, though.) As long as these testing instruments are what drives curriculum, which in terms drives principals' and teachers' evaluations, I don't see what will change.

T's picture
Elementary Educator

Hooray for Diffendoofer Day by Jack Prelutsky(Dr. Seuss)sums it up with this quote, "Don't fret!" she said,
You've learned the things you need
To pass that test and many more -
I'm certain you'll succeed.
We've taught you that the earth is round,
That red and white make pink,
And something else that matters more -
We've taught you how to think."

We've taught you how to think!
I'd like to think that that is what teaching is about.

Connie's picture
First grade teacher from Minnesota

I also teach in a school that values test results. We are also talking a lot about teaching kids to think. It is difficult to balance the two. This was a great article and I am hoping we are moving more in that direction.

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