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The problems with standardized tests..

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by funkywhat2, Jun 20, 2003.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    funkywhat2

    #1
    On Tuesday, a large portion on my graduating class (not me) too the New York State Math A Regents exam. According to Newsday (www.newsday.com) 85% of the people, on Long Island, who took it FAILED. What the ****? Is it the test, or the teachers? There is no excuse for 85% of a group of tested students to fail a standardized test. In my school four people passed.

    Thankfully, I took the test last year. I had to take the Math B exam this year. In fact, I took it today.

    Link: http://www.newsday.com/news/local/l...un20,0,5812053.story?coll=ny-linews-headlines
     
  2. macrumors 603

    #2
    That is a disgrace. I saw the report on NBC around 17:10 EST.

    That's worse than the basic standards tests score in the beginning of "Lean On Me".

    Blame it on the teachers. You would think to blame the students, because they aren't trying. But "they" very rarely are responsible for 85% of the students failing. That's much too large of a percentile.

    Blame the lack of proper planning and preperation on the teachers.

    (BTW: Current Events news.)
     
  3. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    #3
    Sort of sad when they went from teaching students how to learn, to just stuffing infomation into their heads so they can pass a test.

    The students should have had steady progress as the tools available to teach the students improved.

    Sort of a strange problem...
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    #4
    -funkywhat2

    The problem with standardized tests is that the people they are designed to test - aren't standard.

    Who is?
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    funkywhat2

    #5
    Sorry. I'm lazy and pissed off tonight. I'll try harder next time. :D
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    FredAkbar

    #6
    The problem at my school when we took standardized tests earlier this year was that so many kids knew that the test results wouldn't directly on their personal records, and that's all they cared about. It amazes me how nobody seemed to understand that not only to these tests help or hurt the school (funding), they also really do affect the individual students, since a college or university looks at the test scores for the high school that an applying student attended.

    So, that resulted in half the kids just randomly filling in bubbles.

    Well okay, that's not fair...some of the kids actually did something productive like fill in specific bubbles to make smiley faces and things on the answer sheet. :rolleyes:

    --Fred
     
  7. macrumors 604

    scem0

    #7
    I love standardized tests. You get out of class (usually) to take them, they are ez (some would disagree), and most are un-timed so you can just sit there acting like your working and don't have to go to class.

    Well, that's just my opinion, being the rebel I am. :rolleyes: :D

    [​IMG]
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    #8
    -scem0

    Don't forget that the SAT, ACT, GMAT, MCAT and LSAT are standardized tests as well. :D

    I don't know a soul who'd call the LSAT easy.

    Not smacking, just trying to show that it doesn't end.

    Hmm. I suppose that could be depressing. Sorry, not my intent.
     
  9. macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

    #9
    my girlfriend just took em... she's been fairly miserable studying for them for months, and even after, worrying about how she did... :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

    #10
    I *would* blame the students. I would also blame the culture we have created that puts money and power above knowledge, without realizing that knowledge leads to money and power. If the teachers suck, so what? Then it's no longer the student's responsibility to be educated? "The steering on my car sucks, therefore I don't have to stay on my side of the road." I don't buy it. Having good teachers is a great way to improve education, but like I said, people follow money in this culture, and the money doesn't flow toward teachers. It flows towards atheletes and corporate bigwigs. Not only that, the "the system is broke" philosophy is self-fullfilling. "My school sucks, I can't learn anything there, so why should I try." A messed up value system and rampant self-pity has led to our current situation, and unless something changes it's gonna be our undoing.

    Sorry, kinda ranted there.
     
  11. macrumors 603

    #11
    Thanatoast, I'm not disagreeing with your opinion, but if students were to be learning on their own whtout a system, then all educational facilities and taching establishments would serve as a large acrage for office and desk space.

    The purpose of going to an elementary, secondary, a college or a university is to help you learn. Everyone can learn by themselves.

    But now, take away the system of education, and let students learn by themselves. Then there would be no SATs, no NMQSTs, no AP tests, no SAT IIs, and no HSPAs. There would be no challenges for children, except for the challenges they make for themselves.

    I agree that a student can learn anything on his own, but I also agree that as long as there are educational foundations with students atenting, there will be the job of the faculty and staff of giving assistance to the students.
     
  12. macrumors 68020

    question fear

    #12
    the problem with standardized tests, as I believe has already been mentioned, is that there is no good way to truly standardize how people learn, and thus how they take tests.
    Its terrible that all those kids faile,d but it is definitely to blame on the part of the teachers.
    Think about it this way:
    You have schoolwide tests. like regents, Massachusetts MCAS, NJ HSPT
    You have tests you take to get into college: SAT, ACT, possibly some APs
    And then you have tests for when you are going on to more learning: MCAT, GRE, LSAT, etc.
    Teachers are more responsible for teaching the highschoolwide tests, as those are designed for EVERY student in mind. not just for a specific class or type of student. Even a test designed per level the student is learning at (honors, level 1, etc) has to apply to a fairly low common denominator. So teacher should be able to teach their kids along those lines.
    SAT, etc have been under fire for a while for only applying to white middle class kids who know what the references are to. If you grow up in the inner city, you dont necessarily know much about cricket.
    In this case, its a societal error, and something bigger than just the education system.
    However, I think graduate level admission tests are a different category altogether, as they expect you've recieved a bachelor's or are about to, and therefore have a baseline education fro your liberal arts/sciency 4 yrs.
    SO its most disgraceful for those teachers, unless some other statistical fluke arises like "90% of those students cut class"
    my .02
    --carly
     
  13. macrumors 604

    iJon

    #13
    yeah i took the act not too long ago and i f***ed up extremly. luckily i can take it again and i will. i can do one the test, i just cant work fast enough, but i have to just deal with it because thats the way they are. i had very few friends who didnt have to guess at the end.

    iJon
     
  14. macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

    #14
    You know what?

    **** that.

    You know why, because I took that test.

    Yes, I did, and most of my friends, heck it even mentions my school there, Great Neck South.

    It was hard, but I doubt 50% failed, that is total BS.

    King Cobra, take the test, THEN Blame it on me, the student.

    Take my math classes, my teachers, my other final the same day as this regency and you get 100%.

    Please, do it.

    (yes I had 2 tests, a social final and this regency)

    BTW, this was 'after' I finished school.
    Last, last thursday was my 'last day' but then you have to come in for all of this BS!

    I would ALMOST agree with scem0, except I don't even miss classes!

    [/FLAME ON]
     
  15. macrumors 604

    iJon

    #15
    i really wouldnt know who to blame it on. i know i blame myself for many things just because i dont try in school as hard as i can. and i know most of my friends dont either. i know i could have straight a's i studied more, im just not interested in school, i never do homework because i have so many blowoff classes and i can do them during the day. i sleep in class because i have many blowoff classes. school doesnt interest me, but i keep my grades up and stay on honor roll so no ones on my back about it. its just the things im interested in arent taught in school. i remember taking a multimedia class and we were editing video on a 233 pentium 2 and recording from a vcr video camera. i was like f*** this and dropped out of the class because i knew that i knew more than the teacher. computers and business are what im strong at, and i have yet to find a teacher to teach me something new and i actually get interested about in those fields. from my computer background with my parents i just gotta learn everything on my own. but when it comes to tests like that, i usually go with students, based on how i act and my friends. but i do agree, some teachers flat out dont teach, or they are really smart and know their stuff, they just dont know how to get into a language that affects the students. like my physics teacher, he was probably the smartest man i met, but he sucked at teaching and because of that i never learned physics that well, luckily the way he grades i was able to pull of an A every quarter.

    iJon
     
  16. macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    #16
    Ha! You blame the teachers? For what?

    Trying to practice their craft with little or no funding, outdated texts, worthless equipment, NO prep time and special needs kids mixed with their regular classes?

    Blame it on the school's board if you want to blame it on anyone. Teachers are professionals. You wouldn't crap on a doctor if 85% of his patients were overweight, would you? A defense attorney if 85% of his cliental is guilty?
     
  17. macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    #17
    -pseudobrit

    Y'know, you bring up an interesting point. Schools districts are having to do more with less, and these "educators" (ok, your right, I'm not being fair - it's the school board) are switching to PC's that, on the surface, are a cheap purchase, but don't consider the triple terrors of 1. the expense of IT suppport folks, 2. the inevitable downtime as the registries haystack over time, then 3. have to replace the machines in another two years.

    A bad problem who's "solution" only makes worse.
     
  18. macrumors 603

    #18
    That question has already been answered.

    >Trying to practice their craft with little or no funding, outdated texts, worthless equipment, NO prep time and special needs kids mixed with their regular classes? (pseudobrit)

    Teachers can use their own, personal tools and visuals, as well as their "craft", as you call it, because that is their job. No matter what equipment is available, a teacher has a job to do.

    Teachers do have prep time. They spend too much time on making tests and eating lunch.

    If outdated texts are available, then teachers will simply rely on their knowledge, not the knowledge of a book. The same with equipment.
     
  19. macrumors regular

    #19
    the problem...

    Removed
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    Freg3000

    #20
    This math A stuff is crap too. In New York, the math curriculum had been divided in to 3 courses, Math Course I, II, and III. Each course culminated with a Regents, the standardized test at the end of the year. However, last year they changed this into Math A and B, which have awkward lengths, like 1.5 years. Instead of having the final at the end of the year, Math B has the regents after the winter break of your second year in Math B. Crazy! Math Course I, II, and III were very EASY-Math A is screwing everyone up.

    It is not the students' nor the teachers' fault. 85% of the people failing is Albany's fault for designing such a horrible test.

    Math took a huge step backwards in New York. :(
     
  21. macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

    #21


    That question has already been answered.

    >Trying to practice their craft with little or no funding, outdated texts, worthless equipment, NO prep time and special needs kids mixed with their regular classes? (pseudobrit)

    Teachers can use their own, personal tools and visuals, as well as their "craft", as you call it, because that is their job. No matter what equipment is available, a teacher has a job to do.

    Teachers do have prep time. They spend too much time on making tests and eating lunch.

    If outdated texts are available, then teachers will simply rely on their knowledge, not the knowledge of a book. The same with equipment.
    [/QUOTE]

    I would flame you, but I can't find the time.

    Wait, I found it, I have cleared my schedule, just for you.

    My mom and dad are teachers, and I am a student in NY state.

    Yes, they are expected out of their poor ass salary to do this and they do, but are they expected to pay for new textbooks?

    Yes, thats right lets sacrifice my house, hm... maybe I should sell my computer, and all of my worldly possessions so my mom can get some new equipment to teach her class. NO!

    Yes, I'm sorry, we they suppose to prepare classes without tests and then grading them? What do you want Good test scores or taking prep periods away?

    Yes, with all of their obviously free time they are supposto learn new material to teach to their students!

    Lets see also in their free time:
    Make lesson plans.
    Have extra help sessions for students who are lacking.

    Well I hope I ranted enough for today.

    Teachers get no respect anyway.
     
  22. macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

    #22
    How about blaming the teachers unions. They are the ones that set the class structures. Teachers are no longer allowed to inovate in the way they teach. They are drones of one of the largest political PAC's in the country. The teachers union. Then blame has to go on State Governments for not funding their schools effectively so the kids will have what they need to learn. Then blame goes on the Parent. Yea, thats right the parent. They are the ones that are responsible for the kids learning, and many don't do their friggin jobs anymore. Families are more concered with two incomes, and the quiet time when they come home, so the kids live on computers and X-Box, instead of their books.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    trebblekicked

    #23
    let's blame everyone. students for not trying, teachers for not caring, and school boards and politicians for not providing. that'll solve the dumb american kid problem ;):rolleyes:

    no one is motivated enough (en mass) to effect positive change in our current education system. if you as an individual do your thing: good for you. you will breed individual results, and that's the best we can hope for until $100 bills fall from the sky.


    <EDIT> B2TM- i forgot to blame the parent, too. yr right about that...
     
  24. macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

    #24
    I agree, but school has always been about individual results. You cannot expect all kids to excel to the same level. But you have to expect Parents to do their part, and the fact is that they don't anymore.
     
  25. macrumors 603

    #25
    >I would flame you [Andrej], but I can't find the time.

    >Wait, I found it, I have cleared my schedule, just for you. (MrMacman)

    So you cleared your schedule, just so you can flame me? How considerate and immature of you.

    >My mom and dad are teachers, and I am a student in NY state.

    Your parents may not be the group of teachers I previously discussed, in which 85% of the students failed the tests. But I would need confirmation. So I will let your statement stand by itself.

    >Yes, they are expected out of their poor ass salary to do this and they do, but are they expected to pay for new textbooks?

    If that is their job, then yes. Ask your parents if they are "expected to pay for new textbooks".

    >No matter what equipment is available, a teacher has a job to do. (Andrej)

    >Yes, thats right lets sacrifice my house, hm... maybe I should sell my computer, and all of my worldly possessions so my mom can get some new equipment to teach her class. NO! (MrMacman)

    I'm not saying give up your "worldly possessions" to teach the students or get new equipment. I was referring to the job of a teacher, which, by defenition, is to educate someone. You can't educate someone if you give up your worldly possessions. Otherwise what would you have to teach them with?

    Teaching is a dedicated responsibility for others trying to learn. If a large portion of students fail a test, then the students aren't learning. Or perhaps they are not learning correctly. The teacher, therefore, does not have a dedicated responsibility towards educating the students.

    Teachers may have lesson plans that have been passed on to them so they can use them to teach the students, but the teacher doesn't teach lesson plans. He/She is a teacher for educating the students through something that is more intelligent than lesson plans. If teachers don't have that intelligence, then they will not do their jobs correctly.

    >Teachers do have prep time. They spend too much time on making tests and eating lunch. (Andrej)

    >Yes, I'm sorry, we they suppose to prepare classes without tests and then grading them? What do you want Good test scores or taking prep periods away? (MrMacman)

    Teaching made easy: Make effective tests that are easy to grade and easy to make.

    I have noticed from my experience that not all teachers are willing to do that. Multiple choice is tough because teachers have to spend a lot of time on each question trying to decide which wrong answers students will most often choose. Essays and open ended questions take a long time to grade if students have sloppy handwriting or illegible print.

    If teachers can find a faster way of making and grading tests, then they will be more effective. And when teachers take the time to think out their plans, then they will have a lot of preparation for when it is time to teach. This extra prep. will also aid in designing better and faster tests.

    >If outdated texts are available, then teachers will simply rely on their knowledge, not the knowledge of a book. The same with equipment. (Andrej)

    >Yes, with all of their obviously free time they are supposto learn new material to teach to their students! (MrMacman)

    >Lets see also in their free time:
    >Make lesson plans.
    >Have extra help sessions for students who are lacking.

    Here is a perfect example of what happens going into a debate without a lack of prior preparation and a post-thought process.

    MrMacman, my point above was discussing the reliability of teachers on textbooks. If the teacher is not going to use an outdated textbook for whatever reason it is, then he/she will rely on the knowledge he/she learned before becoming a teacher. This is better knowledge, as well as knowledge from the college he/she attended, compared to the textbook.

    Your point, MrMacman, was a noticible digression from mine. Nevertheless, I will debate your intended point as well.

    The teachers do have a job of fulfilling a students education with their lesson plans and extra help sessions. But teachers do not have to learn new material to educate their students. Professional teachers have to go to college before they can teach students. Therefore, your line "they are supposto learn new material to teach to their students" is incorrect.

    >Well I hope I ranted enough for today.

    I agree. At any particular day anyone reads that line, today will be the same day the person is reading the line.

    >Teachers get no respect anyway.

    Are you referring to your parents? :)
     

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