Is your child’s school forcing its teachers not to teach lessons but to teach to the CRCT (Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests)? There is an increase in number of schools that are putting such a strong emphasis on this standardized test that teachers feel that their job relies solely on the results of this test. Isn’t it such a pity that instead of being able to focus on teaching children lessons, they are bullied into trying to teach them how to take a test? Numerous schools are spending 2 or more weeks with their students preparing for tests and taking practice CRCTs. This is educational time that our students are missing out on and yet another reason why the U.S. is falling behind in educational standards. School systems are begging for more money in order to bring the ayps (Annual Yearly Progress) up to an acceptable standard but I feel that a better solution would be to cut a lot of the red tape that is binding the hands of our teachers and to cut all of the bullying out of our school systems. Almost every school system has banned bullying by their students since the Columbine murders but more steps need to be taken because too many school systems are still rattled with bullies and fear tactics.
Intimidation in the traditional public school system.
The most damaging bullies in schools today aren’t the students but are the bureaucrats behind the educators. Their high pressure fear tactics are damaging the education of our children. They are spending more and more of your tax dollars to purchase cases upon cases of red tape. They are then hiring a bloated amount of office staff to pass around this red tape and bind the hands of the educators. Were you aware that many schools began taking up text books and processed them into inventory the week after administering the crct test? I don’t know about you but I send my child to school to learn not to just take a standardized test and be done. I want my child to continue to be educated until the final day of school.
I spent a lot of time speaking with teachers whom feel so intimidated that they don’t feel comfortable speaking to most of their friends and families because they are afraid they will lose their job. Some are even told to spend the last two weeks of school doing CRCT prep. I have a question regarding this – The administrator wants a teacher to have their students prepare and practice for a test that they will take in a little less than a year away on entirely different subject matter. Does this make much sense to you? I know it doesn’t to me. I also had a very dedicated teacher tell me that after the CRCT scores came in that her principal compared them to the previous year’s tests, keep in mind that these tests are completely different and cover entirely different subjects, essentially comparing apples and oranges. And when a couple of the students did not meet the “criteria” then she was accused of not teaching the children all year long. The teacher then told the principal that these students, whom were special education and ESOL (English as a second language) students, were not even in her class for the subject that did not meet the criteria. The principal then had the nerve to say that it didn’t matter because the student was in this particular teacher’s home room. That is like accusing a literature teacher of causing a student to fail a science test, how is this in any way reflective of this teacher’s ability to teach a class or a particular student? I know that teachers and administrators take these particular jobs because they care about kids and want to make a difference in their lives. With this in mind it makes me believe that pressures to produce higher CRCT test scores come from further up the chain, probably someone that doesn’t have hands on with the children. I would hope that we all could have learned from the cheating scandal at the Fulton County School System and realize that these high pressures and bullying techniques to produce higher test scores on a test, that the teachers don’t even know the content, doesn’t help to educate the children.
Some students don’t do well on standardized tests, so is this test a good way to measure what every child has learned? I believe there has to be a better way just as there is a better way to teach these students so that each child is able to learn. Each and every child is unique and learns in a very unique and individual manner. By the way these matters are handled directly reflects that the pressures come from someone that has a greater concern for the numbers and how they make him/her look instead of the knowledge that each child is receiving. I know that scores aren’t always reflective of the material that is learned. I personally learned more in a class that I had low grades in, and the lessons that I learned in that class couldn’t be tested on a standardized test but have followed me every day of my life. And thanks to a teacher that cared enough to teach the students I never learned anything in English, even through college, after the 6th grade. I’m not sure if this is a good thing and how it reflects on the secondary school system but I know that this particular public school teacher cared enough about her students not to teach to a test but to teach to usable knowledge that she knew we would need for the rest of our lives. It is teachers like this that actually care more about the students than their careers or being bullied whom make a difference in the lives of the children. These teachers have my upmost respect as they are often modern day martyrs in our traditional public education systems. Believe it or not there is something that you can do about this current situation. Educate yourself on the current school board members, the superintendent and the candidates for these positions. It has often been said to believe nothing that you hear and only ½ of what you see, this also applies here. Malcolm X once said “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” With this statement in mind don’t believe everything you read in newspapers or even blogs (I know this might seem strange coming from a blogger) but do some research. There are actual facts out there that give you the information that you need to make an informed decision. And keep in mind that even though experience is a great that sometimes you can get too comfortable in a position and it becomes a “status quo”.