Originally created 04/22/01

Don't key education to test scores

Recently the Georgia Legislature passed House Bill 1187, which has a strong accountability component based on a single criteria: a test score.

Teachers and principals are being held accountable for the performance of their students. I am all for accountability, and improved results, but at what price?

Too high a price would be the sacrifice of relevant curricula for a test-driven curriculum. Too high a price would be the reliance on narrow objectives, which can be easily tested in a multiple-choice format, rather than expanding knowledge and applying it to real life situations.

Much is being spent on test preparation materials (such as Test Ready), while too little is spent on enriching and expanding the current curricula. Students learn to pass the reading and math tests, but don't learn to read well or do math well. Test scores are increasing, but is learning decreasing and narrowing?

We parents must become more aware and involved in our children's education. Know what your child is being taught, and find ways to add to it with a connection to everyday experience. Check their homework each day, and notice what the content of the lessons are.

Demand that teaching continue all year, and not stop to prepare for testing. This type of accountability, from parents and schools alike, will increase scores and allow the educational process to continue and flourish. The other kind of accountability, the imposed reliance on a single test score, will not benefit students...

Bruce Wheelon, Aiken

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