Originally posted by sligtlyskeptical
The point is if it doesn't make sense don't teach it. Better not to learn something than to learn it wrong. I hate the standardized test mostly because of the content rather than the idea behind them. I also think teachers would be better off just teaching their normal curriculum.
Here's a sample of what its like to teach in public education today.
I have 18 first graders. Of these students, the following applies:
4 speak limited to no English
12 live in single parent families or with grandparents
8 have a close family member in prison
17 are classified as "low economic status"
1 student is homeless and living out of a car
1 student has a parent who is physically abusing mom.
1 student has a parent who has threatened to kill the child at school
I don't teach in an inner city, but in a small town. Now knowing the background of my students, is it any surprise they have difficulty with school lessons? Its kinda hard to worry about fractions when you don't know if you'll have supper when you get home, or if Dad is going to be drunk, or what have you.
The big problem with the testing is it doesn't measure learning progress, thinking and rationalizing skills, etc. In addition, many test questions are biased or written poorly, like your example. Honestly, I doubt many of my students would know what a band major is, let alone be able to answer a question with two potentially correct answers.
As teachers, we spend more time "proving" to others we can teach by constantly assessing our students. No joke: I have to give my students a standardized reading test EVERY WEEK. The test lasts about three hours. For first grade. And that is three hours of instructional time gone.
Okay, I feel like I've hijacked this thread by ranting about education, so I'll stop now.