...teachers see ongoing formative assessments, class participation, and performance on class assignments as much more important measures of student learning. Educators included on the panel emphasized what they said were the limits of standardized tests in their current configuration, saying such assessments are not well-matched to contemporary teaching and learning goals. "How can you get critical thinking into a bubble?"
Why isn't standardized testing helpful? Because:
- Standardized testing doesn't measure other abilities, such as creativity or communication skills.
- Family involvement is a major factor in overall student achievement.
- Accurate assessment of student progress requires a variety of measures, not one or two days of multiple-choice tests.
- Testing doesn't account for the development of children as individuals, or for the different rates at which they grow and mature.
- Student achievement is also affected by nutrition, exercise, and sleep, and a bad day at home can drastically affect testing day at school.
- Preparing for tests uses valuable class time better spent teaching and allowing students to use what they are learning.
- Teaching specifically for standardized testing affects the viability of the outcome, and it can be rigged by teachers and school officials feeling the pressure to make sure their schools perform well.
Many teachers are being forced to ignore the needs of their students in order to comply with testing, for the sole purpose of measuring millions of children against an artificial standard. How is that helping children learn to use their minds and live successfully in the 21st century?
It is important for homeschoolers to recognize the limitations of standardized testing. Teachers understand the importance daily assessment and the big picture overview of the student's progress, and how information little one or two days of intensive multiple-choice testing gives them about the student.
Homeschooled parents should spend more time and energy focusing on daily progress and moving steadily toward proficiency, and not worry about tests which are geared specifically for public schooled students.