Reform needs Reform: How Testing is Sucking the Breath out of Teaching and Learning

Educational reform desperately needs reform.  Reform in education today is in the hands of Federal programs including the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and the Race to the Top Fund of 2009.  Although states can submit “flexibility requests” to receive waivers on some aspects of the NCLB, the reforms that have been affecting American schools have based everything on testing students to “measure” their achievement in math and reading, as well as science and social studies.  It has almost morphed into a testing game or competition.

States are now using student test scores to not only evaluate the students, but to determine whether teachers are good or bad, school are successful or failures, and how much funding schools will receive in the future.  Don’t you think this is an awful lot of pressure on students?  Students as young as 9 years old are held accountable by means of these achievement tests, and indeed many of these students might sit for three-90 minutes sessions in one content area.

Something is wrong with this picture of reform.

In this post I am sharing with you up-to-date articles and research that questions current reform of American education.  I hope to shed light on some of the important issues facing parents, students, teachers and principals, the core of our educational system.  The articles are collected from previous posts on the Art of Teaching Science blog.

Letters to the President

Testing, Testing and more Testing

Race to the Top

Evaluating Teachers

Some Ways Out

What do you think about the role of testing in educational reform?

About Jack Hassard

Jack Hassard is a writer, a former high school teacher, and Professor Emeritus of Science Education, Georgia State University.