Ken Robinson, the author of Finding Your Element, is quoted in the June 10 issue of TIME saying: “I can’t imagine there’s a student in America who gets up in the morning hoping he can improve the state’s test scores.”
Dr. Robinson – aka Sir Kenneth Robinson – whose TED talk has been watched 17 million times, laments that education is being driven more and more by standardized testing, but less and less by the kind of individualized education that ignites learning. That disturbs me too.
Dropouts, delinquency and discipline problems in our schools are not addressed at all by standardized tests. In fact, the focus on such testing probably adds to each problem.
The job of teachers should not be to teach to the test, but to locate and ignite the different hot buttons of students. That’s a lot tougher, and it’s infinitely better for students, schools and society.
Dynamic classroom teachers matter. And so do those who work after hours with students in music, fine arts and athletics. Nothing matters more in bringing students to schools each morning with a sense that they’re much more than a statistic for bureaucratic measurement and political posturing.