So here’s the basic problem: traditional schools operate on the assumption that testing measures learning. So, we deliver content, “teach”, then we test to see if it stuck. We test to assess learning. And then we create STANDARDS that say we need high test scores, which is supposed to translate as “a high degree of learning”. Well, that would be great, but there’s one problem with this equation… NEWSFLASH….. TESTING DOESN’T MEASURE LEARNING.
WHAT? Yes, it’s true, it’s all been for naught. Wasted time studying, wasted time grading.. .wasted paper on “the need for standards”.
But it’s true. A test does not tell you if someone has learned something, it tells you if they remember what you said. That’s very different. This is, to understate things, a huge problem, of course. The whole system is based on this premise of what testing supposedly does.
Students all over simply do what they have to do in order to pass the test, get a good grade, and move on. Because it’s all anyone cares about: “how’d that geometry/physics/english test go dear?” … get a good mark and the conversation quickly ends – parents believe all is well – and maybe you even get a prize/reward (oh no!). This is it. We’ve created a system where grades are all anyone talks about.. they create the standards. We don’t know how else to do it. Don’t believe me? Then you’ve forgotten your own experience and haven’t had an honest conversation with a student lately.
Let’s get down to real learning and real assessment of said learning. We have students in traditional schools going through all kinds of hoops, passing all kinds of tests, who haven’t learned a damn thing. It’s pretty easy to see what’s going on.