Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Too much focus on testing limits learning, creativity

This from FayetteABC's Denise Ho in H-L:
The anxiety over school testing is understandable; students, parents and the public worry about our students' futures and what it means for America's future. We worry about America's competitiveness, especially with the rise of countries such as China whose test scores consistently call ours into question.

In this economy, those of us in higher education debate the merit of a college degree because studies have shown that our students are unprepared for college, do not necessarily learn as much as we thought they did, and might face unemployment when they graduate.

It is important to understand that Fayette ABC is not against testing altogether but is asking how much testing is necessary, and at what cost to our students?

What we should remember in this context is that there are some qualities of an American education that are worth keeping, and by this I mean the potential to cultivate independent-minded and creative students.

When we worry about the competition from East Asian students, we should be mindful of the fact that those systems envy American schools for allowing independence and creativity.

These are skills that Chinese schools seek to create, and this is the reason that Asian students come to America for college and graduate school, the one product that people are willing to come across the globe to get.

In our quest to raise the quality of American public schools, we should not lose the core values of creativity and independence — which translate to entrepreneurship and leadership — and distinguish American education.

Creativity and independence, Fayette ABC is right to point out, are neither produced nor evaluated by school tests.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is wonderful to hear parents speaking up. I am saddened, though, that the teachers are remaining silent (in public forum) about testing in FCPS.