Monday, February 21, 2011

(Pro)tests in Context

This week, New York City is taking a tougher stance on auditing test scores and grading practices, after fears that schools might be manipulating the statistics to make themselves look better. (Read the story here: New York City to toughen Auditing of Test Scores.)

This week, there are thousands of people protesting outside the state capitol in Madison, Wisconsin. The initial reason? A bill on education.

For one side of the story, read this article by education historian Diane Ravitch (Why America's teachers are enraged). One of the biggest issues she lists is the emphasis placed on testing and test scores. That's an issue a lot of people in education are asking questions about.

Why should we do it or not do it? What do the results mean? How should test scores be used?

At Classical Conversations, we're making a paradigm shift when it comes to testing. Read more about my thoughts on testing here: (Is That Going to Be on the Test?). We test and test often because test practice removes fear and builds confidence. We let our children know NOTHING negative will result if they do poorly. We clearly communicate that the point of a test is to train for things that really matter. Tests are just small steps in a life-long process.

Still, we know a lot of homeschool parents get anxious when it comes to testing, and others want to know how something that measures learning quantitatively fits into the classical model.

I hope you'll join me for Leigh! at Lunch, my Blog Talk Radio show, this Wednesday at noon as I talk with our guest Shannon Brown about the subject of testing. (Click here to go directly to the show.) Shannon is working with our new website, and will be glad to help me answer your questions.

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