Standarized Testing: a Lack of Understanding Essay

1269 WordsOct 8, 20126 Pages
Savanah Benbenek Prof. Tomaiolo May 11, 2012 Position Paper Standardized Testing: a Lack of Understanding As a child in an American public school system I was introduced to standardized testing at a very young age. I have memories of lining up my freshly sharpened 2 pencils, watching the clock and carefully filling in bubbles with the hopes of getting a high score, from as early as fourth grade. As I got older the pressure to do well on these tests, and the frequency of the tests only grew. I was in eighth grade the year Massachusetts began the MCAS, and even though I was among the last of the graduating classes that were not required to pass to receive my diploma, I felt as though my future depended on those scores. I knew I was “learning to the test” before I had ever heard the term. Every day, in every class for the remainder of my public education , the teacher would mention how that days lesson would tie into the MCAS. We would do weekly MCAS writing assignments, practice tests and MCAS drills. The days of learning things that interested us or even our teachers had clearly passed. Teachers would quickly push us back on topic if our lesson had led our minds to inquire about something more, claiming we only had enough time to cover what “needed to be taught”. There was clearly no room in our educational plan for exploration of our lives and our worlds. We were learning what the state had decided we all needed to know, and even our teachers openly admitted that they didn’t always understand the importance of the new curriculum. As a young student that was eager to learn I had already begun feeling that I was being robbed of an honest and adventurous educational experience. Now, as a college student preparing to become an elementary teacher and as mother preparing to place my children into a public school system, I’m fully realizing the

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