Obama Wants To Limit Class Time Devoted To Standardized Tests

I was fortunate enough to have spent seven years working with preschoolers and up through to the second grade, teaching French, alongside several wonderful classroom teachers. I saw first hand how hard they work, how much they care, the long hours they put in and the pressure they are under to please all of the outside influences beyond their responsibilities to their kids. It was during this time that I became interested in education, its history and its future, if only because education is of such importance to our children. It was through my readings that I found Diane Ravitch’s blog; she is brilliant in going through the history of education, she is diligent in her research and she doesn’t shy away from admitting to being wrong when she thinks she made an error such as when she used to support Common Core. She freely admits that at first glance it had made sense, but when she realized that it would only bring more standardized testing to our students, she became its most vocal opponent. I strongly believe that teaching to the test, subjecting students to endless hours of repetitive concepts without context, subtext or creativity may result in short term learning, but since it is learned in a vacuum, the teachings do not last. If we want better outcomes, we need to limit classroom size, we need to allow imagination and creativity into the classroom, and we should encourage as much writing as possible. We may be in the digital age, but forming strong grammatically complete and correct sentences should still be the goal in educating our children. I realize that the liberal arts have been under assault for quite a long time, but they are the cornerstone of any analytical and critical thinking skills set which never steers one wrong, no matter what career one chooses.

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