Recently I have been thinking a lot about our push to provide all of our students with a “common experience.” We are standardizing instruction, pacing, content, skills, content, and quantity.
“It is about shifting the focus from “quantity” to “quality” in education. “More quality” in terms of classroom interaction, opportunities for expression, the learning of life-long skills and the building of character through innovative and effective teaching approaches and strategies. “Less quantity” in terms of rote learning, repetitive tests, and following prescribed answers and set formula.”
This year the life expectancy in the United States dropped. I feel as though this is the first year my students will be less prepared to pursue happiness and tackle future problems when they leave me compared to other students I have had in the past.
“When many resources are spent on getting students ready for national standardized testing, and there is little or no time for exploration of anything outside the national curriculum, it sends a signal to students and parents that the tested curriculum is more important than the untested. The result is more uniformity, and less diversity. For example, despite years of effort to promote arts and culture in Singapore, it is still largely lifeless and uninspired.”
We are banking everything on raising test scores, more specifically, our success will be measured by how much the test scores of the lowest performing students rise.
“The Singapore examples show the erroneous notion that excellent academic achievement on standardized tests will make the U.S. a significant player in today’s global economy. Despite a world renowned reputation, Singapore has set itself on the arduous course of education reform to reduce national standardization and testing, and to reverse the adverse effect the present standardization seems to have had on Singaporeans’ ability to be creative, innovative, and to think critically. While standardization may have brought about enormous and quick results to the academic achievements in Singapore in the last three decades, national standardized curricula and testing are not a “one size fits all” solution for every country, and will certainly not propel every country into being a key player in the 21st Century economy.”