Are You As Smart as a 10th Grader?

September 6, 2012 at 6:41 AM Leave a comment

Every college student needs to be able to say “Yes” to that question. And that’s all any college-readiness testing is trying to demonstrate at the most basic level.

To graduate from high school more than two years behind in grade-level basics in math and literacy is to face the adult world with limitations. It starts with early elementary school when children cannot read well and do simple arithmetic by the end of 3rd grade. It continues if students do not have mastery of concrete math and literacy skills by 8th grade.

Standardized achievement tests used for accountability in elementary and secondary education do not seek the top…they measure the firmness of the foundation skills upon which to build knowledge at the next higher level of thinking. Teaching to those tests will never be acceptable, and those who feel compelled to do so must question why.

Where did the children’s learning of the basics breakdown? Why would you be teaching concrete learning to teenagers? Something is wrong in that picture. You may find yourself teaching skills needed to pass the test, but what you are really doing is remedial instruction during class time. How about organizing extended day time for remedial classes so we can get back to teaching the full curriculum at each grade level? Because just getting rid of the test will not make the children better prepared for life.

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Entry filed under: ESEA-NCLB.

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