Teachers Refusing to Give Tests: Why We Should Support Garfield High School

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About Emery Petchauer

Dr. Emery Petchauer is assistant professor of teacher development and educational studies at Oakland University. He is the author of Hip-Hop Culture in College Students’ Lives: Elements, Embodiment and Higher Edutainment”. (Routledge)

Comments

  1. marian meade says:

    Bravo teachers!

  2. Given all the recent studies indicating that female teachers have a strong bias against male students, I find it impossible to support this. If female teachers already disregard test scores in order to punish male students for typically male behavior, this looks like the only way to correct for that. We have too few males who get into college — many of whom don’t even try because they see a system rigged against them in grade school. The last thing we need is to give teachers more leeway to indulge in their misandry.

    So testing it is.

  3. wellokaythen says:

    There are good reasons and bad reasons to oppose standardized testing, just as there good and bad reasons to use it. Tests like the MAP can be useful tools, but not at the expense of other tools. It’s like mandating that the only tool you can use to build a house is a nailgun. Incredibly useful, but not by itself.

    Many teachers who oppose large-scale standardized tests do so because the tests can be used unfairly to make personnel decisions. Teachers can be promoted or demoted based on their students’ test scores, even though there are all sorts of external factors at work that teachers have no control over. School districts tend to act like every group of students are consistently the same, so therefore the only thing that affects their scores is the teacher. When, in fact, there is a lot of variation from class to class and school to school.

    Another reason is the monotony of teaching to the test. Not only does teaching to a standardized test mean less work in many cases, the work that’s left tends to be incredibly tedious and boring, even more tedious and boring than the usual over-determined curricula. The only thing less monotonous is the grading, which can be done by a machine. Bubble sheet after bubble sheet, and you never have to write on a kid’s paper ever again.

    Multiple choice tests are not great preparation for life. The only thing it really prepares them for is casting a ballot. I mean, I passed my multiple choice driving test with flying colors. Therefore I must be a very good driver, right?

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