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Test Scores!

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Thanks to OT, the first day I went to the elementary school I was super excited. When I walked in, and the 4th grade teacher greeted me with a smile and said, “Normally we do fun stuff during our math time, but tomorrow the kids are taking a chunk test over geometry.” For the past 3 weeks I’ve been in that class, and each time I go in there I see them slaving over a piece of paper, learning about stuff we didn’t learn until we where in 5th or 6th grade. “For what reason?” you maybe wondering, test scores. Schools use test scores to see where they stand against other schools in the city, district, county, state, nation, and world. Most people by the time they are in 11th or 12th grade have taken the ACT. It is a test that some people slave over night and day, because if they do well on the test they get scholarships for college. The test is a bunch of bologna. Either we do or we know people that fall into these two categories: good test taker, or bad test taker. I know people who are incredibly intelligent, but since they aren’t the best test takers they get the short end of the stick on test scores. While I also know people who are what some would say averagely smart, but who are great test takers and get high scores. You can sign up for classes that teach you how to take a test. It is ridiculous. I find it silly how you can pass a class with flying colors, but if you don’t do so hot on a standardized test you have to take remediation the following year. Cough, Cough, The Literacy Exam, Cough, Cough.
Every senior remembers last year. Bryant’s Literacy scores were less than perfect, according to a test you only get to take once. So in every single class we were in we had to write an Open Response ever so often. But since the test said we weren’t doing well steps had to be taken. So we worked our butts off learning things we never would have had to learn otherwise. I learned vocabulary words, sentence structure, different types of paragraphs, different types of prompts, etc. If you asked me to use some of those things I couldn’t do it. There is a better chance of me getting bit by a radioactive spider, and going out to fight crime than to remember half of the stuff I learned. But we took it, every 11th grader in the state of Arkansas at the exact same time. And we raised our school’s score 5%. Yay 5%! I was told that was a lot, but I wasn’t impressed. What shocks me the most about this test is that a handful of students were 1 question off from “passing” the test. If you got basic or below on the test you basicly failed the test in the eyes of the state. Last I checked C’s make degrees people-look at George W. Bush. But since the almighty Literacy Exam says you got a basic, you get not praise, but remediation your senior year.
I’m in OT, for those who don’t know it means Orientation to Teaching. Basically it’s a class to help you learn how to be a teacher. The longer I’m in this class, the more I am beginning understanding how much education is failing us as students. What kind of sick person decides to give kindergarteners a chunk test? What is it over, colors, shapes, and for the Open Response do they have to color inside the lines? A teacher’s job is to teach us and broaden our understanding of that particular subject so that we may better ourselves and become more knowledgeable. It isn’t to teach us why you can eliminate answers A and D as possible answers on a test. Don’t get me wrong tests are important. They show us if we have learned the material properly or if we still have some studding to do. They help show if your teacher is teaching the materials correctly or not. Tests are very important there is no arguing that. However, the status quo when it comes to tests is less than perfect. Take the ACT. The people who make it need to look at their test. Do some tweaking here and there just do something because the way it is going now isn’t working. Maybe one of those 4th graders will take OT when they are a senior, and at this rate when they go back who knows? The kids at the elementary might be learning about molecular physics or something.





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