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Kids Should Be Kids

As we look around today at our education as it very quickly changing and you notice things like standards changing and standardized tests more common for younger ages.  Today they are forcing kids into standardized testing at a younger and younger age and it not only strips kids of their imagination but also their childhood altogether.   These tests should not be made for children so young and immature.

My mother is an English second language teacher at an elementary school. Over spring break I went home and I visited her at work.  While I was there I was sitting at her desk while she went over words and the kids had to color.  When she was going through she was telling the kids good job and she came across a boy who had colored his differently.  When I listened in she was saying that he colored a horse blue!  This was completely ridiculous and he needed next time to do it right.  It is sad that even our teachers teaching your kids are so set on doing things right and by the book that we can’t let kids color. I never would have thought of a blue horse that’s imagination.  That’s the kind of thing that we are taking away from our kids today with all these standardized tests.

Some of the many problems of giving these tests when they are so young are that they can’t understand the importance of this test or the point of the questions.  There is no way they will give a full effort if they do not understand the importance.    I do not know about any of your kids or kids you have seen but I know that when I was a kid I could not keep myself sitting still to save my life.  Our kids today are no better so there is no way they will be able to stay focused long enough to take a standardized test.  Some of the people who support the test at this young age think that this will have our kids prepared for the testing later but a problem with that is what is the standard for them when they are that young?  What should they already know?  Things they do not look at is this helping or hurting them?   It is not uncommon for a kindergarten or first grade student to have problems remembering two step directions let alone an entire test full.  Telling them that they are supposed to fill in the bubble of the answer they think is correct would probably confuse them.

A group of grown up applied for the job of grading these tests.  To do so they had to take one and at least pass the test to be able to keep the job given to them.  They were given the training.  After two days of the training half of the 100 were fired for failing the test.  If grown can not even pass our tests how can we expect kindergarteners and other young ages?   (csmonitior)

Another problem at this age is they don’t understand when something is required of them.  A teacher observed a young girl taking the test with a pink crayon instead of the required number pencil.  When the teacher asked why the little girl was using the crayon the girl said, “She liked pink!”  Obviously this is a problem because they cannot understand that they are supposed to use a certain type of utensil to write with how can we expect them to be able to positively take this test?  On top of this we are going to be putting our children in an elevated level of stress because we are trying to put them in this test environment where they could just fail.  Already we hear about problems with bullying and picking on one another.  Without the help of failing test our children’s self-esteem already gets attacked enough.  Also this will begin categorizing children and tracking them at a younger age.  Our children have a lot on their shoulders as it is and we want try and top it off by pushing them harder younger.  This also pushes our teachers to focus solely on the test taking no longer teaching the kids on what they need to learn or what interests them.  Honestly they are all holding all our kids back.  They are skewing our curriculum, limiting our children’s minds, and education.  It also does not set conditions for students to learn cooperative learning and problem solving.

Two extremely important parts of education as a whole that everyone needs to be taught.  It is obvious that we need to put forth another type of assessment for our children.  I am not saying that standardized testing all together needs to be tossed.  What I am saying whole heartedly is that for our young imaginative children we need a new plan and way of checking their progression.  We push our education to the limit.  Having well educated kids is extremely important but at what cost are we truly willing to try and push them.

http://users.stargate.net/~cokids/Standard.testsNOT.html.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2009/1028/p09s01-coop.html.

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Categories: Standardized Testing
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