Notes: The Education Bill became a reality last week. There was a bipartisan effort to get done. Both George W. Bush and Ted Kennedy praised each other for its passage.

One aspect of the bill that Bush said will create accountability for schools is a testing system. Many states already have statewide testing of students used to rate public school performance. As a result, critics say that schools teach to the test so that students will perform better on the tests.

Performing well on tests is in part a skill in itself which does not always indicate deep knowledge, understanding or creative thinking. I had a very smart friend in law school who had to-die-for grades, yet he failed the state bar exam on his first try. He simply freaked and did not do well. Consequently the exam did not in any way reflect his knowledge of law. Nor do other tests show how one will perform in life.

My criticism of the emphasis on standardized tests to determine how a school is performing is the time required of teachers to focus on the tests instead of on teaching their subject and how to think and reason.
01.13.02