Your words Mr.President, your words. I wrote your quote in a blog post in May 2011. Yet, nothing has changed. As a matter of fact, I believe it is worse!
Last year, my students took the standardized test four times, four times! The saddest part of all that testing? The fourth time did not count if they scored lower than they did the third time. Imagine your children sitting down four times a year to take standardized tests in Reading and Math? And let's not forget Science and Social Studies. Next year, they are adding Writing. Each test is composed of approximately 50 questions. And the best part? They get to see if they passed or failed with the click of a key.
Mr.President, what do you think happens to instruction when students are being tested? It comes to a complete halt. Days are wasted, instruction is not given or received, we are in testing mode. What do you think teachers do who are worried about their evaluations being tied to their student's test scores? They "teach to the test." And if I read your quote correctly, you are vehemently against the very notion!
I have taught for 28 years, and I long for the days when the students could enjoy learning. When recess, music,art, and gym were not taken away so that students could stay cooped up in their rooms learning how to "beat" these tests. When I was not questioned about the "extras" I do in my room because it's doesn't relate to a test-taking skill.
I feel disheartened when I read about testing companies making billions of dollars, billions! Meanwhile thousands of teachers come out-of-pocket or search for grants to purchase things for their classroom. I thought we were here for the kids. I thought they were what was important. I thought they mattered.
Don't make your words, just words. Make them mean something!
Let's get rid of standardized testing! Allow teachers to make decisions! I want to teach Mr.President, not test! What are you going to do about it?