Fast Focus: 'Should children be encouraged to opt-out of standardized tests?' Tests have a value

April 20, 2014 

The only reason that teachers oppose standardized tests is that the teachers don't want the test results to be used in evaluating their teaching performance. Test results, however, don't just measure the teacher's performance. They can also highlight gaps in the curriculum, and school administrators need to know where those gaps might be.

Let's face it. Testing is here to stay in education. When our kids graduate, they are going to be competing for college slots and jobs with kids from other areas. Our local schools need to know how our kids, and the curriculum they are taught, measure up against the competition.

I, personally, think that our students would be just fine if we taught the same curriculum that our parents were taught, and did it right -- then focused upon turning the kids into good citizens before they graduate. Unfortunately, that isn't happening, so we need to evolve with the times, and measuring the performance of our kids and the curriculum they are being taught is one way to do it.

Teaching is a hard job, no doubt. But, there aren't many folks who get up to go to work every day who don't think that they have a hard job as well. Lowering the bar for our students isn't going to make their teachers' jobs any easier.

-- ERIC NORDLOF, Kennewick

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