Valued in Testing
For as long as there has been formal education there has been a need to judge the level of knowledge of the students. While I don’t question the need for test taking, some of the modern ideas that have been pushed in this realm I find questionable. The idea of state mandated tests is what I refer to as being questionable. Quite possibly the worst atrocity to ever happen to public education was the institution of state mandated testing as a means of judging the education level of the students of public education.
Once upon a time, in public education teachers had a relatively free reign on what was taught, and what was not, as long as certain basics were taught. These were generally referred to as the “Three R’s,” of these was reading, writing, and arithmetic. Beyond those basics, things like history, social studies and fine arts were also taught. Around the late 1860’s the public education system in America got a start under the reconstruction era that followed the civil war. This was where the government first started getting its’ hands involved with education, at least in a formal sense. Governments had always dictated certain things about education; however they had little control over what was actually taught when no one was actively monitoring.
Around the late 1950s the US got a push to improve math and science by the Russians launch of Sputnik. Then in the 1960s arts and social studies came to the front with the rise of the hippie movement. The 1970s were filled with a lot of turmoil and caused the reforms that the 1980s brought about. This was where most of the standardized state mandated testing began. There was a push to make sure that everyone was learning the same levels of information. Prior to standardized testing teachers in primary schools made sure that children learned to learn rather than just absorb a certain amount of material. With this lesson plans were more strictly enforced, since the state testing mandated that...