Cut To the Test

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Final exams, SAT and ACT, pop quizzes, state standardized tests…


Why do we need a test to show us what our students have “learned”?

Seriously. I’m asking.

It would seem to make more sense that what students learn should be transparent from day 1, not just captured in a number or score on day 45, or 180 or 2,160. I mean, shouldn’t we be able to see their learning inform and enhance their practice? Shouldn’t we be focusing on them doing something with what they’ve learned rather than simply telling it back to us at some predetermined hour?

Apparently, we don’t know what they’ve learned until they take that test and get that score. Until they’ve studied or crammed or been tutored or, in some cases, cheated their way to a number.

Because apparently, that makes us “accountable.” That’s what makes it “count.”

We’re sending some pretty unhealthy messages to our kids when we make it about a snapshot in time rather than a lifetime of learning.

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