This cartoon is sad, but true depiction of what standardize test are doing to students and teachers. The reality I guess is teachers do not get fired over test scores, but students live with the stress and anxiety.
We need trust teacher assessments and remove many of our standardize tests. It shackles teachers and causes them to teach to the test. This also causes a narrowing of outcomes of the current grade. Standardize testing does not focus on the arts, music, drama, and physical education. Our students need to find their own talents and schools need to be creative to allow student to find what they are passionate about. This is why students complete high school or even college/university and still have no idea what they want. Many students have not unlocked their passion after 12 years of education. This is extremely sad and something the youth would call #epicfail.
Think about Alberta Standardize Tests in Grade 3, 6, 9 and 12. Who cares about grade 3, 6, and 9 tests? What do any of these test result really show? Do you think any of these test help our students discover who they really are? Do these tests result really show that a school is improving or that teachers are helping students unlocking their passions?
Below is an example of what could happen in schools, if we remove the fear of change.
At Monument Mountain Regional High School, a public school in Massachusetts piloted a project called The Independent Project. In this pilot model, teachers serve as mentors and coaches, not as direct instructors, while students pose questions and find ways to answer them.
The pilot semester — in which eight students participated (one 10th grader, five 11th graders and two 12th graders) — was broken down into four parts: orientation, the sciences, the arts, and the collective endeavor, which all of the students would agree on a serious world issue and work together to find a solution or a piece of a solution. Students would come up with their own questions in each subject, research it and then teach it to the other students. Here is a video of the results.
I understand that the above is only one example, but it shows the potential. So we need to work to a more personalized style of education, so students can unlock their passions and have a little less of this…
Dear Education Minister Jeff Johnson,
Please keep the Curriculum Redesign Project on track! I hope this stays the #1 priority for our students who seek passion. Also please sign me up for prototyping for this project!
PS Here is an update if you are unsure of the Curriculum Redesign. http://education.alberta.ca/media/6818369/curriculum-redesign-december-update-jan16_2013.pdf