What comes to mind when you hear the words ‘Standardized Testing’?
Perhaps an image of children being shuffled down a conveyor belt in a factory, one after the other, perfectly the same. No differences, no unique characteristics or fresh ideas. Simply cardboard cutouts, coming down the line, each with the same nose, the same eyes, the same mouth and sadly, the same minds.
Although a little dramatized, essentially, that is what these ‘Standardized Tests’ are aiming to create in the United States. However, just like Einstein said, “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
How on earth can all of these little personalities, quirks, and talents be shoved into one multiple choice test? How can a child who sings like Whitney Houston and another child who dances like Michael Jackson, be scored equally on the same test? Especially considering that one of these children may also excel in reading, and the other in math.
If nothing else, look at the figures. Finland ranks #1, and we are #29. This is about where Finland was until they decided to focus on bettering their students, by offering them a better quality education that focuses on their needs, not tests.
We must allow kids to be kids and encourage them to find and use their unique gifts.