Are Schools Just “Teaching the Test?” Some Educators Say Yes They Are
As Texas school districts learn more about how much time they have to spend preparing students for a new state-required standardized skills test, more and more educators worry that they are now just “teaching to the test.”
According to the Texas Education Agency, Texas public schools will spend 34 out of 185 school days conducting the new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness Test (STAAR) this year.
They'll be spending more time with the STAAR testing because it's more comprehensive, and many educators and administrators are voicing concerns about it.
State Board of Education member Tom Ratliff represents the Angelina County area and he thinks schools focus too much on teaching the test, rather than educating for life.
Hudson School District superintendent Mary Ann Whiteker feels the same way. Whiteker says “many students who are very productive, creative and intelligent do not perform well on standardized tests."
She says they shouldn't have to take a test to prove they are successful. "When you focus on one test, the learning stops at the end of the test. It’s totally out of control.”
Are the schools just teaching the test? Of course they are. They do it because principals' and teachers' job performance is judged on students' test scores. Low scores can get them demoted or even fired.
It's why some principals and teachers have resorted to cheating on the state tests. They don't want to lose their jobs.