The quote above is the title of a blog post by NY City Councilman Mark Weprin, in YourName.com.
In a short but impassioned statement Weprin states: “[High stakes tests] are likely to reflect the rampant use of test-preparation drills that keep scores high but rob students of the opportunity for real learning. I am not participating in the hand-wringing over lower percentages of students deemed proficient because I reject the premise that high-stakes standardized tests ever provided
an accurate picture of students’ performance in the first place.”
The Councilman is right: we need to take a good hard look at what tests are actually testing. Many students, who understand the subject matter and are well prepared for tests, crash and burn on the test itself. Why? Because no one teaches them how to deal with the stress of test taking. And the stress compromises their performance. Conversely, some students hardly study at all, understand the material only marginally, and then do well on the test. Why? Luck. Intuition. Who knows?
I set out to write The Workbook for Test Success because many people suffer from test taking. And not just students– but parents, teachers and school administrators as well.
Councilman Weprin concludes his post with the following: “The DOE [Department of Education] should double down on enhancing the education today’s students need to succeed. Regardless of the latest test results, the real news is that schools are testing more but students are learning less.”
Let’s teach students what they really need to succeed in life– not just stuff but real skills that will help them succeed at all the tests they will face, in school and out. Knowing how to be calm, confident and focused will help them with every challenge. Thank you, Councilman Weprin, for not buying into test mania.