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What are the factual short-term and long-term benefits of various academic tests? Do these tests accurately measure student knowledge, competence, potential, future success? What exactly do the results of these test tell us? Why are some parents and teachers so opposed to various forms of testing? It seems that two of the main problems with these tests are: 1) the manner in which many teachers oppose them, and convey their opposition to parents and students, and 2) the manner in which the tests are prepared for and administered.
In many public schools when a standardized test is on the horizon very little else gets done; all class periods are spent drumming tests materials and content into the students. An atmosphere of fear and tension is created; understandably, students become afraid and apprehensive. Rather than exploration and excitement about new areas of learning, students are drilled in memorization. During these many weeks very little learning takes place.
This post is not at all about quibbling with the decision of the CT Legislature. Our elected officials are being responsive to what they perceive to be the demands of their constituents. Of course, because they hear from so few of us, they respond to those who speak up. In fact, in this case, the SAT or ACT (which are free) seem to be better tests for 11th and 12th grade students nationwide. The benefits of the issue at hand are not always as clear. The point is -- our legislators need to hear from and be informed by many of us and not only the few who are willing to speak up. We might not all have the same agendas. Equally important, our elected officials are best served and can best serve us when they hear from a broad cross-section of their constituents. We cannot legitimately complain that our elected officials are not doing what we want them to do when they do not know what it is that we want them to do.
Senator Terry Gerratana – Doing Her Job In the CT Legislature and keeping CT residents informed. I want to publicly commend Senator Gerratana. She is not my senator, but ever since I contacted her office (she is the co-chair of the Public Health Committee) last year, I have been receiving regular updates. I asked to be informed about health care, education and civic engagement issues; these are the three areas in which OneWorld Progressive Institute produces television programs, community forums, post blogs and endeavors to keep our viewers and readers informed. I greatly appreciate getting regular updates in all of these areas. The only time I get any information from the Senator who is supposed to represent my 17th District is when an election is near. He has never responded to a telephone call or a written request. In 2014 he was re-elected for a 12th term!
OneWorld commends Senator Terry Gerratana for doing the job she was elected to do, and for being responsive to others who are not her constituents. I regret that I cannot vote for her; thankfully, I don't have to vote for my Senator either; he is highly representative of the do-nothing elected officials who are retired in-place; he is also a part of the problem why many people do not vote, especially in local and state elections. What's the point they ask? Once elected, whether they work or not, they are there for life. Maybe if more of us voted against such officials they would not get to serve life-terms.
Senator Gerratana, Martin Looney, Gary Winfield and others are evidence that some senators and state reps do work very hard for their constituents. Please read the information below about testing in CT public schools. And mark your calendars for the next election and please VOTE! We live in a participatory democracy; let's all participate and make it work.
Last week, I joined my colleagues in the Senate to pass a bipartisan plan that ends the requirement that 11th-grade students participate in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) testing. Instead, students will be able to take a nationally recognized college readiness exam such as the SAT or ACT free of charge.
I have heard from principals, teachers, parents and students concerned about adding another testing requirement to high school juniors. In addition to the SBAC test, many juniors also take the SAT, Advanced Placement Exams and class finals all within a window of just over a month. By no longer requiring the SBAC and instead replacing it with a nationally recognized college readiness exam, we are restoring value to the test-taking process. College readiness exams prepare students for the future, and providing them free of charge will open the door to higher education for students who may not have previously planned to attend college.
OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a small group of committed volunteers who produce community information and education television programs on health literacy, education and civic engagement. We also find good information and post informative blogs about issues we believe shine light and are beneficial to many in our communities. Learn more about us at our web site: www.oneworldpi.org/ and visit our web education section at: http://www.oneworldpi.org/education/index.html
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