Tuesday, July 03, 2007

'Teach to the Test'? What Test?


Here was the response to Mathews' column -- a couple good points lost amidst inane drivel and feel-good nostrums.  I wish I had the time to go through this line by line and give it the ripping it deserves...
I have never given a test. I respect my students too much to demean them with exercises in fake knowledge.

Tests represent fear-based learning, the opposite of learning based on desire. Frightened and fretting with pre-test jitters, students stuff their minds with information they disgorge on exam sheets and sweat out the results. I know of no meaningful evidence that acing tests has anything to do with students' character development or whether their natural instincts for idealism or altruism are nurtured.

I have large amounts of evidence that tests promote the opposite: character defects.


'Teach to the Test'? What Test?

By Colman McCarthy
Saturday, March 18, 2006; A21


From the academic sidelines, where calls to Leave No Child Untested are routinely sounded by quick-fix school reformers, Jay Mathews joins in with his Feb. 20 op-ed column, "Let's Teach to the Test." In well-crafted prose, he reports that "in 23 years of visiting classrooms I have yet to see any teacher preparing kids for exams in ways that were not careful, sensible and likely to produce more learning."

 Subscribe in a reader