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Teaching To The Test Essay

767 words - 4 pages

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Einstein’s brilliant quote has more truth in it then some people would like to believe. Would you judge your cat on its ability to bark? Would you judge Tim Tebow, legendary quarterback, on his ability to make a three pointer in a basketball game? Would you judge a brilliant mathematician who graduated at the top of his class from MIT on his ability to spell or his ability to draw or recall facts from World War II? No, you wouldn’t because of how well he does in math. So tell me why you would judge a child and hold them back because they placed high in their reading scores but not in their math scores? Does this seem like a fair observation to you? If you think yes, let me explain further why standardized tests are an unfair way to gauge a child’s understanding and knowledge.
Standardized testing was implemented through the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The main purpose of these tests was to “ensure that students in every public school achieve important learning goals while being educated in safe classrooms by well-prepared teachers,” (Yell). Even though the government may have had good intentions about this program, it has taken a turn for the worst. These tests are actually impairing and inhibiting the educational growth of students because teachers have to teach to the test and not stray from the boundaries at all for fear of low test grades. This may sound like a good thing to most people, but in all actuality, teachers are only teaching the students how to pass tests, not how to think critically and how to learn to love learning. An interview from seventh grade teacher Sherri Empey revealed how she felt about teaching to the test: “I cannot stray from teaching what is on the test at all for fear of having my students place low on the tests. This means that I can’t delve any deeper into any subjects and can only teach the bare minimum, or in other words, what is on the test. I have to pound these ideas into their heads to make sure they can pass ‘the standard,’” (Empey). Teaching to the test is replacing good teaching...

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