Follies Of Testing

Democrats and Republicans may be divided on issues of economics, but they are close buddies when it comes to state testing. Both believe a written test can determine  whether or not an individual is “intelligent” or “stupid.” Both believe tying student test scores to evaluation of teacher performance is a wonderful idea. As one who has taught 12,000 teachers I can only make clear this is among the most idiotic forms of nonsense in American educational history. Link how much a teacher gets paid to student performance as evaluated by a test and teachers will TEACH TO THE TEST! Honest, it is rather easy teaching to a test. As a high school teacher I made certain that 98% of my students passed the American History Regents exam in  New York State. I hate to inform politicians but test makers are rather consistent on which questions will be posed to students.

Three dozen educators in Atlanta, Georgia have been indicted for fixing exam papers, lying, manipulating data and receiving money for what they did not do. Beverly Hall, former superintendent of Atlanta schools and principals and teachers are all under indictment for being liars and cheats. Ms. Hall got more money if student scores were higher, Ms. Hall made certain scores rose.

Unfortunately, one does not have to cheat to get higher test scores. All it requires is studying past tests, identifying patterns and teaching those patterns. Take it from an expert.