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Standardized Testing Interview
Politics in Teaching Interview
Have you seen standardized testing change since you started teaching?
No, same tests, different names. They have a negative effect on students and school. Program associated with testing changing. With “No Child Left Behind” the government had the ability to take control of the school and fire all the staff if the AYP (adequate yearly progress) is not met. With Obama’s new program, Race to the Top, schools now compete to innovate the classrooms and receive the best scores in order to receive more funding and more benefits. The results of the standardized tests ultimately control the government control of the classroom, the funding the school receives from the government, and teacher/administrator’s job security.
How do you expect standardized testing to change?
Students have option to opt out of testing if parents write an excuse for them. The type of students who end up taking the test can ultimately control how the school scores as a whole. If all the smartest students opt out of the test and school will end up scoring low, because that’s the kind of students that will be taking the test. If all the lowest scoring kids opt out and only the smartest kids take the test then the schools overall score will be a lot higher.How does testing affect teachers?It changes the whole classroom. Everything ties back to the exam. They teach to the test all year. The test controls the power, the funding, and job security so teachers do everything they can to fully prepare students to do as best as they can. They teach material and strategies that fit the standardized test, and really it’s not very applicable to the real world.
Do you believe in the testing or not?
It hurts education in its entirety. Standardized tests are very straight-forward, do you know it or not? It does a kids a disservice. Our country ranking is effected by every student of every school, most public schools like Penn Trafford score exceptionally high, however most schools like Pittsburgh Public score significantly lower and drag our scores down. It’s believed where you are from greatly affects your education, social mobility is at it’s lowest since the great depression and that can be attributed to the teachers not being allowed to teach how they want to. They have to teach to the test, which doesn’t benefit student. We need to fix where the testing is broken at specific points, not a whole broad fix. Some schools need a lot of fixing, others not so much, but we need to have flexibility to fix schools where they need to be fixed.
Are there any benefits you see to standardized testing?
A benefit to standardized testing is accountability. It holds students accountable for their scores. However the student’s scores directly affect the school and teachers, they end up being held 100% accountable for how students score. In reality, teachers and schools only contribute to 30% of how much a child learns, the other 70% comes from their home and environment. Yet, parents and the environment in which they’re raised is never even thought of. Testing doesn’t effectively measure how much school teaches a kid compared to how students are affected at home.
What are the biggest topics in the politics of teaching right now?Standardized testing, charter schools, cyber schools, and politics in the classroom. Focus on education holistically and start to see the value of education. Students need to see future through education and it’ll give them motivation to try there hardest to be successful. Students need a reliable, safe environment to learn in to be successful. Whole country needs to come together to make this change.