Testing the best way to measure what is taught

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“Students are more than a test score, and so are their teachers,” headlines a recent Roane County News article.  

Of course, but that’s not the point of the article.

The point of the article is that judging teachers by how much the teacher’s students have learned during the year is unfair.

I attended grade school, high school, college and graduate school.  

Nearly all the teachers I had believed they could tell what I learned by giving me a test or, usually, several tests.  

Bill Potts taught woodworking and looked at what I produced.  

A few college profs had me write a paper.  Mostly, though, they tested.

I submit that this process is still going on. So why is a test not a good measure of what the children have learned?

I have heard some arguments that the teachers should be allowed to be creative.  

But if we send the children to school to learn reading or math or whatever the curriculum calls for, why should the teacher branch out into music appreciation?  Or some other variation?

One of the theories that has made accomplishment more difficult for teachers is the thought that we should have a mix of abilities in classrooms reflecting the mix in the community.

The theory is that is good for the children’s little psyche. But it’s much harder to get all the children to grow academically.  

If it is possible, the children should be separated by ability.  

Jim Leitnaker