Frontline report

FlowergirlDeb2April 12, 2002 recently did a special in my area on the show "Frontline." The title is "Testing our Schools." If anyone is interested in this the website that I find it at is, go to Frontline and then look for the shows title. It was aired here in Chicago about three weeks ago.

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This truly is an interesting show, there are some facts that some of you might want to read about regarding the Standardized Tests.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2002 at 8:10PM
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It was a truly interesting show. But it did not contain that many FACTS. It contained lots of OPINION. It was a good show, but just because someone's opinion agrees with yours that doesn't make it a fact.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2002 at 10:30AM
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Actually there were quite a few FACTS in the show...scores of high school kids suddenly rising and falling, schools being threatened with closing if they don't score high enough on the tests, teachers who in MY OPINION are or should certainly be considered "experts" in their field opposing the "teaching to the test" cirriculum. I understand your stance on this from previous postings, I would hope that by my postings you clearly understand and accept mine as well.....I am not alone, and I am passionate about important issues that I truly believe in, of course I don't think that just because I AGREE with certain things they are "RIGHT", but I stand by what I believe, and I'm not out on a limb here with all that I have said either, there has been research done and experts in the fields of Psychology and Education have also criticized the validity of the standardized testing done in our country's schools.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2002 at 11:09PM
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I think people should be passionate about what they beleive in. I accept everyone's opinion. However, there were very few facts in the piece that support your thesis. Even the people who were quoted admit that very little study has been done.

Please post some FACT, some independent research that has been done that PROVES that standardized testing is bad for kids. Having a teacher state that they have been threatened is a fact in the sense that it happened. But it DOES NOT support your thesis that standardized tests are harmful to kids. All it supports is the fact that some teachers feel threatened by testing.

Please please support your thesis. With independent research, not a collection of opinions (the Alfie Kohn site is a collection of opinions).


    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 8:56AM
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OK, I happen to KNOW of FACTS and research done on the standardized testing being "bad," but you will have to bear with me on exactally WHEN I post the sites or info. because I am a mother, a student, and employee, and a wife with many jobs!! I surely will get the facts ASAP.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2002 at 11:33PM
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Here 's a paper on student performance. The paper indicates increased student performance when a standards based curriculum is actually tied to a standardized test.


Here is a link that might be useful: Pittsburgh Study

    Bookmark   April 24, 2002 at 12:02PM
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Here is an interesting editorial from today's Atlanta Journal Constitution. Her point is that educators are giving false beliefs to the students that by gearing up education strictly for testing leads them to success. The truth is, that many tests are not, by themselves, good gauges of college readiness.

Just thought it was a good perspective.

Not all students cut out for college

I wholeheartedly agree with a recent letter regarding the push to send every high school student to college ("Schools too focused on college prep," April 18). As a lecturer in biology at Georgia State University, I see firsthand the disappointment and frustration of many students who perform poorly in college because they are not suited for it either intellectually or emotionally. Even students who have performed well in high school and on the SAT do not necessarily do well in college.

The fact that so much time is spent teaching to the SAT and graduation tests fosters bad study habits and unreasonable self-expectations in many students. It is frustrating to see students crying in my office because they are failing my course. But it is hard at this level to get them to abandon their study strategies, such as taking multiple choice, rote memorization tests, for more useful ones, such as recognizing connections and patterns.

Allowing students to keep retaking tests until they get the score they want teaches them that if they just keep trying, doing extra credit, or begging the teacher, they will eventually get what they want. It is annoying when students write complaints to my chairman or dean because I would not bend the rules by allowing them to retake a test or do extra credit or, even worse, giving them a grade they don't deserve.

This is a major problem that needs to be addressed. Communication between high school and college faculty would be a good first step in finding a solution.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2002 at 1:33PM
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It starts in the home. Homework......Study,,,, turn off the tv, turn off the computer games.. We haven't seen anything yet.. Give it another 5-10 the rate we are going.. Sounds scary. I am glad I got my teaching experience behind me. Good luck. There is still hope, maybe time and enough good parents who require their children to learn and behave.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2002 at 1:49PM
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FlowergirlDeb2's what I have so far. You will have to go through the various articles though!! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Facts on Standardized Testing

    Bookmark   April 25, 2002 at 12:13AM
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I want to see an academic paper, like the one I referenced, not ARTICLES collected by an organization that opposes testing. Can you find those?

I did a google search and was able to find my article in a few minutes. What would convince me is if you could find an ACTUAL STUDY proving your point. NOT a collection of articles by an organization that exists solely for the purpose of opposing standardized testing.

In the attached article the author talks about research saying things that support his view, but does NOT cite the research. No support. What research? Where is it? Why not cite the research? Is it inconclusive? Is there conflicting evidence? Maybe it doesn't exist.

We shouldn't give tests because they are SCARY? Well it's also SCARY to go to the dentist, but you know sometimes there are things kids have to do that are SCARY. The author states that testing in 2nd grade is premature, but offers no scholarly evidence that this is so, just his opinion and the opinion of another organization. I would like to see some study done to prove that 2nd grade is premature and to suggest a better age.

The author cites the fact that there are differences in the home lives of kids that create differences in acheivment therefore we shouldn't test kids. Ridiculous. Maybe there should be no tests and no evaluations because some of the kids might FEEL BAD if their parents knew they were doing poorly in school. They probably will feel worse when they are 30 and can't get a job because of their poor reading skills, but hey, they felt good when they were 7 and that's what's really important.

The ELA is pointed out as a viable alternative. Why is is an either/or proposition? Where is the side by side evaluation?

I need scholarly studies and controlled research, not more opinions. The opinion of Fairtest is no more valid than mine. Are there any sites out there that present the case FOR and the case AGAINST side by side? With facts, and studies instead of articles?

Articles are interesting, but they are not the same as studies.


Here is a link that might be useful: Second Grad e Testing Article from Fairtest

    Bookmark   April 25, 2002 at 9:24AM
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OK Mommabear....I will get to work again!!:) I assume that because the Fairtest board contains Professionals that this might be what you were looking for, but I understand and I certainally will find something for you!!!! (For me too actually!!) BE BACK.....................

    Bookmark   April 25, 2002 at 5:38PM
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Don't denigrate yourself. Your opinions are just as valie as anyone else's. You don't need someone else to think for you. You are doing fine on your own. I always admire people who can think for themselves.

I do not assume that someone else's opinion is more valid than mine because they are a professional educator. I am a professional mother with 3 kids. I know plenty. I look to carefully designed scientific study to convince me, not a bunch of people who have an opinion on something. You know what they say about opinions....


    Bookmark   April 26, 2002 at 7:50AM
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