Saturday, October 1, 2011

Think Beyond Standardized Tests, Please!

Here's a link to some of my thinking from this weekend. I'm very interested in your response and thoughts.


  1. What do I think? I think the 1% don't want the 99% to be able to think for themselves. That's the point.

  2. If Clarkston is going to produce "...positive contributors to a global society." we must graduate students who can compete in a global society. We must provide a curriculum that challenges and inspires students to learn.

    Teachers are extremely important in this effort. It is vital we find a way to reward teachers that go above and beyond, who show students that learning is not just memorizing facts for tests. Have you ever met a successful person who couldn’t tell a story about a teacher who inspired them?

    I am all for continued education. In fact I would support paying for it IF it was related to the classes the teacher currently teaches or is qualified to teach. Taking courses just to meet a requirement only serves to take valuable time and energy from students.

    It is also very important that teachers only be assigned classes they are qualified to teach. You cannot teach a science class if you did not even minor in science (this happened to my child in middle school). We must find a way so teacher tenure /seniority does not interfere with having proficient instructors.

    We must also recognize that a bachelor degree is not always the best path for every student. We need to find ways to serve those students other than just trying to make sure they receive their high school diploma. OTC is a great alternative but it can not be the only option for these students. Oakland Community College offers certificate programs that would improve their chances of employment. Do our students truly understand what opportunities there are at OCC other than an associates degree? If these students don’t come from a household that has parental involvement in their education will they be able to fill out financial aid paperwork, apply to OCC and schedule their classes within the required time table? Can we do more to connect students to OCC counselors? Can we offer opportunities for these students to take certificate classes while in high school like we offer AP classes for advanced students?

    We moved to this community years ago largely due to the school district. I would guess that many others did the same. I continue to believe Clarkston is a good school district. I believe we can be both be innovative in our approach to K-12 education and achieve high standardized test scores. The ACT /SAT are standardized tests that play a large role in college acceptance. I even heard that they can play a part in what opportunities you may have if you join the military out of high school (I was told this by a student but I did not verify).

    If we are to serve our students we must be able to give them an education that prepares them for the rigors of college or provides them with the tools necessary to be employed in our competitive global society.