Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Is the TEST what matters most...

or is it the learning process? As PSSAs are going on throughout my district...makes you wonder.

Thanks to Chris Lehman for pointing out this song by Tom Chapin
Posted by ME in honor of the PSSAs that are going on this week
Not On The Test (click to HEAR this song)
Go on to sleep now, third grader of mine.
The test is tomorrow but you'll do just fine.
It's reading and math. Forget all the rest.
You don't need to know what is not on the test.

Each box that you mark on each test that you take,
Remember your teachers. Their jobs are at stake.
Your score is their score, but don't get all stressed.
They'd never teach anything not on the test.

The School Board is faced with no child left behind
With rules but no funding, they're caught in a bind.
So music and art and the things you love best
Are not in your school 'cause they're not on the test.

Sleep, sleep, and as you progress
You'll learn there's a lot that is not on the test.

Debate is a skill that is useful to know,
Unless you're in Congress or talk radio,
Where shouting and spouting and spewing are blessed
'Cause rational discourse was not on the test.

Thinking's important. It's good to know how.
And someday you'll learn to, but someday's not now.
Go on to sleep, now. You need your rest.
Don't think about thinking. It's not on the test.
What struck ME the most was the last line "Don't think about thinking. It's not on the test." Today I sat in on a webinar that pointed out that college teachers are still lecturing because that is what is expected of them--that although kids learn are different and they learn differently, they also want to be successful. This high stakes mentality and high pressure makes kids want to be spoon-fed information rather than taking responsibility for becoming lifelong learners. In thinking about your experiences with high stakes testing...what stands out for you?

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