What Happened When an Adult Took Standardized Tests Forced on Kids...

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Tck13, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Tck13

    Tck13 Senior member

    Messages:
    5,758
    Likes Received:
    77
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Location:
    Philly
    Link to article.


    Maybe he's a SF poaster?
     
  2. CYstyle

    CYstyle Senior member

    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    24
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Of the 60 math questions he knew none....I'm not suprised.

    The vast majority of the country can't even do basic arithmetic. Even more don't even understand basic algebra.

    I don't understand all this standardized test hate. I took them through my schooling and always scored in the top percentile. They are absurdly easy, and only test basic skills. If students of a certain teacher or school are failing these tests, there is something wrong with the teacher or the school, not the test.
     
  3. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

    Messages:
    17,933
    Likes Received:
    80
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2002
    Location:
    Canuckistan
    Don't know what the guy does for a living, but being away from it all those years certainly makes it a lot harder to go back to unless you're really using the skills in your job (which he admits he's not doing). He could be a very successful guy and still be crappy at math. I couldn't do the math proofs now that I was capable of doing in high school nor even some of the algebra (I haven't touched logarithms in a long time). I've just forgotten too much, and even if i went back to it, unless i spent a lot of time prepping I'm sure i'd end up having holes in my knowledge.

    Anyway, part of the point they're trying to make is that the tests aren't applicable to real life, but the tests aren't there for that. They're there to provide a standard basis of comparison for kids from different schools, districts, states, etc. What do you replace them with or how would universities make admissions decisions? Whether you like the tests or not, they tell you something about the kids that write them and they're probably pretty predictive of how a kid will do in college. And ya, you can study to improve your score so it's not great as an intelligence test, but a kid that's willing to put in the time to study for the SATs is probably more likely to study in university too.

    And how many people actually use algebra in their jobs? Should we just cancel all math classes beyond basic arithmetic? It's unethical that we waste kids' time with it! And it turns out you can say the same about most subjects in high school. Those are clearly wasted years.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  4. NorCal

    NorCal Senior member

    Messages:
    8,420
    Likes Received:
    1,039
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    For real. Most people never use history or Bio in their jobs either. Not to say K-12 can't be improved, but come on.
     
  5. CTGuy

    CTGuy Made Guy

    Messages:
    3,459
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Location:
    Boston/Houston
    It's interesting, but I am not surprised. I recall my dad who was a (former) chemical engineer trying to help me with my high school chem homework.

    Maybe I am in the minority, but I have taken more standardized tests in my life time than most people (state "mastery tests", PSAT, SAT, ACT, LSAT, FUGGIN BAR EXAMS!!!! to name a few). I hate them. Standardized tests almost always focus more on test taking ability than on knowledge. Ask any lawyer who sits for the bar. The first thing the very expensive bar review companies tell you is to forget about how much you know about "the law"/legal issues- you are learning how to take a test. You can even see your scores go up as you practice taking literally thousands of practice multiple choice questions.

    My point is that I think most people assume they would do fine on a standardized exam because they are good at their job and intelligent, but often that confidence is misplaced.

    EDIT-

    to the "haters": I am past caring at this point in my life. I don't have to take any more test if I don't want to. That said, the issue here is mandatory testing like state mastery tests or tests mandated by no child left behind and the like. They result in a poor allocation of resources. Schools end up training kids to take a test without focusing actual instruction.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  6. CYstyle

    CYstyle Senior member

    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    24
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    

    I disagree with these standardized test teaching companies. They try to make their students take shortcuts. Learn "how to take tests" because that's easier than teaching the subject. Dumb things like compiling old tests and figuring out B comes up at a higher chance and a c or o d. If someone has a good understanding of the subject ie Math they can figure out how to do the problems it'll be a breeze, instead of going to after school classes paying thousands of dollars for someone to teach them how to guess better.
     
  7. CTGuy

    CTGuy Made Guy

    Messages:
    3,459
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Location:
    Boston/Houston
    


    I use the bar exam review example simply because it is a very high level standardized test-- one for law students seeking final admission to become attorneys. There is much more "to it" than figuring out whether ABCD comes up more often. In the case of the bar, which I admit is not the same as an elementary school math test, I know of no one who does not take some kind of prep class and still passes the exam.

    In the context of the original post- public schools have limited resources. As you say, and I agree, it is a waste to learn shortcuts, but that is what is done in the public schools a lot of times when these tests are implemented. Teachers spend time teaching short cuts because that is what improves scores. Improved scores means the teachers and the school gets more money- etc. I have a problem with this in that the focus should be on teaching the students the substantive material- not the shortcuts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  8. why

    why Senior member

    Messages:
    9,735
    Likes Received:
    405
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    The problem seems to ultimately be the teachers, not the tests. I don't have any data but I'm willing to say based on experience that most teachers wouldn't know their ass from a hole in the ground if their teacher's edition didn't give them the answer.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  9. CTGuy

    CTGuy Made Guy

    Messages:
    3,459
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Location:
    Boston/Houston
    

    On some level, I agree.
     
  10. Philip

    Philip Senior member

    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    I can understand why there is standardised testing in an underesourced public school system, but what i still don't understand is why we still have it in undergrad?
     
  11. zarathustra

    zarathustra Senior member

    Messages:
    2,591
    Likes Received:
    461
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    

    Because then people would see what 30 - 50K a year is buying them...
     
  12. Gibonius

    Gibonius Senior member

    Messages:
    11,165
    Likes Received:
    4,026
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Location:
    Suburban Sprawl Sector 3, Maryland
    

    What sort of standardized tests are you taking in undergrad? I took the GREs, but that was it.

    I know some people take standardized tests like the ACS chemistry tests, but it's pretty far from the rule.
     
  13. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

    Messages:
    27,426
    Likes Received:
    7,602
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Location:
    NE PA
    Yes, and a bang up job you and your friends are doing on our public school system. Carry on.

    What other measurement would be a fair evaluation of the teachers' and principals' performance? I'm seriously curious about this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  14. legorogel

    legorogel Senior member

    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    30
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    tests are a measurment to see how much kids learn in school, not to check how much some old guy remembered from his math class...

    I'm neither in favor for or against standarized tests, but this guy is not making any point.
     
  15. CYstyle

    CYstyle Senior member

    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    24
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    


    I would agree with this wholeheartedly.

    What I don't understand is NY Public schools have sooooooooo much money. For students in NY not able to pass basic math and writing no I would have to lay blame on the teachers.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by