Parents and Educators Push Back Against Too Much Standardized Testing
September 4, 2013 - Parents and educators are concerned that students are being tested more than is needed, according to a recent article published in The Tennessean (to read the Tennessean article, see link below). Since 2001, the year in which No Child Left Behind was implemented, federal and state reform efforts, including Race to the Top and First to the Top, have emphasized the scientific side of education. Measurable outcomes in the form of test scores, driven by an accountability culture for schools, have upset the balance of art and science in U.S. education. A common complaint among educators has been that testing is used more to sort and punish than it is for diagnosis of individual learners and learning. However, parents and educators have decided to push back, desiring to see less testing in K-12 classrooms in an effort to provide teachers and students greater opportunity to focus more on learning and less on testing.
Over the last decade, the appeal of technology to “drill down” data has created political pressures for educators to obtain and analyze test results like never before. Such solutions and a business-minded perspective about the bottom-line of education have contributed to efforts to make education much more about measured learning. Both sides of the political aisle have supported such test-driven results to assess schools, students, and teachers. But those on the front lines of education, including both parents and educators, are realizing there is more to education than only a scientific focus.
Union University’s School of Education has long recognized the need for balance between the Art and Science of teaching. Faculty in Union University’s School of Education understand the instructional process and the need for test results to inform future instruction, but they also recognize the depth of value that a teacher’s professional judgment and creativity can have to transform the life of students.
Lea Ann Atherton, a teacher and Union University School of Education alumna, represents a voice of balance. As a Hope Street Group Kentucky Teacher Fellow, she is using what she learned at Union to help bring about educational reform that supports both the scientific and creative side of teaching. She recently wrote an op-ed about the importance of bringing creativity back into Education (to read Atherton’s op-ed, see link below).
Union University’s School of Education supports teachers and the transformational role they have in their daily work with students. To learn more about the School of Education and its degree offerings, visit: http://www.uu.edu/programs/education/.
For more information about the articles mentioned above, visit:
- The Tennessean article, Tennessee's heavy use of standardized tests sparks hard questions from parents, educators
- Lea Ann Atherton’s article (.pdf)