Tuesday, May 18, 2010

End of Level Testing or State Testing

These tests come with various names. The bottom line is that they are tests that most states require of public school students. Many homeschool parents are very much against these tests but it is interesting to hear the various reasons as to why.

Some think that laws that require these tests infringe on the families Constitutional rights and privacy. Some argue that you can't really use tests to measure intelligence and knowledge.

While I can see both sides of this issue and could argue each whole heartedly I know that in the end it is right to teach our kids to follow the laws. I also think that kids should be taught to question things but to go through the right channels when challenging an issue. Blatant disregard for laws or just avoidance is not the answer and will not help kids become contributing members of society.

My children are required to do state testing each year because of the program we use. It is publicly funded and therefore we must follow the rules and we have agreed to do so. However, they use a different math curriculum which means that they are not tested by the state in that subject. However, I would have welcomed the chance to have them test in math so that I had a snapshot of what they did know and even to see how they test.

Test taking skills are highly underestimated. I was a student who always did my homework and was always in attendance but still to this day I have a mental block when it comes to testing and even multiple choice tests really cause me problems. This does not mean I don't know the information but I don't know how to play this part of the education game. In some colleges they actually have courses on study skills and habits and also test taking. Seems to me that college is a bit late to offer this information. I think it should start in 3rd and 4th grade.

I guess the bottom line here is that testing can be good, it isn't all bad. But as homeschool parents maybe we should help our kids play the education game so when it comes to college they know how to get in and do it right and succeed. Most homeschool parents want what is best for their children and that would include success in college or the work place.