Standardized testing is fundamental in both basic academia and higher learning and memorization is a skill that is essential to succeeding in the economy. However, standardized testing runs into problems due to class inequalities. Studies have shown that 1) Kids from a stable economic standing have better grades 2) Lower income kids’ grades suffer greatly 3) Testing is only a way to lace up memorization skills.
These findings are problematic because a child’s intelligence is not circumstantial to income. Decent family surroundings, healthy food and tutors are circumstantial to testing by memorization. Low income kids cannot afford tutors, they may have a ruptured family and sometimes these kids cannot even afford good food. Sometimes the cafeteria food is the only meal option for them.
The radical ways of unschooling are slowly thriving as parents realize that public as well as private schools have academic limitations and a lack of legitimate stimulation. Parents who unschool their children have been successful because focusing on the child’s individual abilities is vital to high self-esteem which is indicative of personal success. Parents who adopt unschooling see that testing is a stranglehold to true, unbiased, raw potential. Children are inquisitive, blossoming early on with a love of learning. Parents are a stifling force, accommodating intellect through harsh standards and financial retribution.
Testing cannot affirm intelligence. Philosophically,free play (unsupervised and where the kids decide), empathy and free thinking are huge stabilizers in a child’s well being. Wanting the best for our kids is not equivalent to processed information, arbitrary work and GPA based on the work done. The main result of having homogenous education, is homogenous people.
The homogenous format of bell then work, bell then eat, and bell then work again with a lovely bell for home is almost industrial, arguably factory life in the earliest stages. Children are separated by age and not by skill. Although at a basic level, desks in rows can be rearranged into a zigzag pattern or a circle with desks, the questions of how kids can be subjected to such a harsh educational environment should be questioned. The love of learning is distilled. It becomes a task and a competition rather than something to grow from.
Tests can be grueling, stressful, arbitrary, and borderline confusing for many. Of course, knowing what you learned should be practiced but it shouldn’t necessarily be the focus at the end of the day. Education should be a journey, rich and empowering.
Standardized testing does help to test how teachers are doing their work. Holding accountability for the teacher however causes harsh cutbacks to school funding. Schools funds should not be dependent on the government further initiating global competition, making schools seem to function on economic and academic Darwinism.
The constant repetition of the same work can numb the brain out, resulting in not learning but just remembering.
A common trend of higher learning is that only 5-20% of graduates actually get jobs in their chosen areas of higher education and that too only within a span of 2-3 years. Many fresh graduates are also seeking jobs outside of their field and even into the minimum wage range! So in a nutshell, all of this expensive testing with nothing to show for it should be revisited and revamped so that real world solutions are achieved.
By: Val Davis