No Child Left Behind. Why Not Teach to the Tests?
Posted January 10, 2010on:
Jul. 13, 2006 – Why Not Teach to the Tests?
I read another crying letter from a teacher today that due to the No Child Left Behind Program, and the testing, she is having to “teach to the test”. Given that the tests are formulated to evaluate the facts and functions that the average student should have mastered by any given grade level then I simply do not understand what these teacher’s concerns are. The students not being able to pass the test because they had not learned what they should have learned by the time they reach acertain grade in school is the problem. And to address this problem the No Child Left Behind Program was made into law. If teachers were not then teaching these basics could someone please tell me just what they were teaching? I mean people, if a child can not read, write and cipher as well as the average student his age then being able to draw a pretty picture, read sheet music and play a pretty tune or even speak another language is hardly going to get him a job in the real world. So it seems to me that forcing teachers to “teach to the tests” is exactly what has to be done in failing schools. In this way we are at least assured the child will have learned something of value. This “teach to the tests” is another one of those empty slogan phrases that gets started but means nothing or something entirely different than the accepted definition of the words used, but everyone picks up on it and repeats it enough that no one challenges the sheer idiocy of the phrase. I did a blog here awhile back on the illogical and untrue slogan phrase: I’m on a “fixed income”. Everyone has accepted this nonsensical utterance as applying only to people on a pension, and more specifically on Social Security. When we define the phrase strictly a “fixed income” means an income that is fixed at a certain amount and never changes. This hardly applies to Social Security where the recipients receive a cost of living increase in income every year. We could more correctly speak of teachers salaries that haven’t changed in years, or anyone else who hasn’t received a pay raise for some time as being on a fixed income. And these people are unfortunately found in the general working population not the retired population.
So now we have teachers complaining that they have to teach to the tests. Well, I certainly hope so!