THE ANTI-TEST BIAS

There is an aversion to testing students in certain schools and in certain parts of the educational institution. In particular, there is an ongoing campaign against tests in which students must provide answers that are either right or wrong, whether they are multi-choice tests, short answers, fill in the blank, true/false some other form. Examinations that try to zero in on how good students are performing such as the names of the Great Lakes or certain skills (such as long division) as old – fashioned as some people have disparaged. Exercises like bees spelling, vocabulary testing and grammatical quizzes are avoided. Examinations to determine if students have met certain learning goals are not taken into account. A Massachusetts middle school principal summarized the philosophy: ” Good schools create the opportunity to learn to a standard instead of chain students. ” They argue that teachers only ” teach the test; ” that is, they only teach children what they need to know to pass it. Not only does this narrow the curriculum, but it ignores individual students ‘ interests and talents. Paper and pencil tests are said to devalue skills in order, such as problem solving, reading for understanding, analysis and...

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