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Res. 6: Don’t Teach to the Test

Berger, Brooke . “Standardized Testing Is Hurting American Schools.” US News & World Report. N.p., 11 Apr. 2013. Web. 26 June 2013. <http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2013/04/11/why-excessive-standardized-testing-is-causing-american-schools-to-fail&gt;.

 

In an article titled “Don’t Teach to the Test” by Brooke Berger on the website US News and World Report, the book Raising the Curve is briefly outlined. Raising the Curve, written by Ron Berler, a distinguished journalist for The New York Times and Chicago Tribune, discusses the troubles of No Child Left Behind. The intense state testing children are faced with today is a direct result of the law. Apparently, 82 percent of US schools are currently fading, according to an estimation by Arne Duncan Secretary of Education. However, the numbers on paper do not accurately depict the situation. As Berger explains, a student can come into a grade very under prepared, for example “a fifth grader…reading at a high-second-grade level” and make tremendous improvement. But if that student is still just below the level of the rest of his peers, despite his big leap, he gets “no credit for that advancement. Nor did the teacher, nor did the school” (Berger). It is this fallacy that has produced such skewed numbers for thousands of schools across the nation.

These misleading and frightful numbers also affect the curriculum. Often times, schools will focus exclusively on preparing their kids for a specific standardized test. That is like preparing for an arm wrestling competition by only working out your right bicep for a year. When the competition is over, you are stuck with a weak body and an abnormal right arm.

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