Maybe I am way off base; I am certainly ignorant of what it means to feel like a teacher. I mean to say that only a person who is feeling the pressure to get results no matter the students’ ability, work ethic or parental support can truly know the reasons to start teaching to pass the standardized test. I have trouble seeing a true difference in the teaching to a list of standards versus teaching to a standardized test. It seems to me that if the test in question is a standard measure of what a child should know by a certain point in their life, then is that not the same? If there is/were a test that tested everything a student was to learn in order to be “educated at a high school level” a practicum for graduation, would that not be the standard all teachers at that level would teach? As an EMT-B, Emergency Medical Technician-Basic, after I had passed the quizzes and demonstrations for the classroom portion of the licensure program. I then took a standardized test which required 80% to pass. This test was a sampling of all of the common and some of the more common issues and EMT faces. I also had to demonstrate in a standardized testing format the skills an EMT-B could/would use. In this way prior to being licensed an EMT must have met certain standards and demonstrated certain abilities. Then and only then, could I be released to work in an ambulance crew with lives at stake. Is the problem that teachers are forced to teach to a test, or is it the test does not reflect the teacher approved standards? Is this not that much different than a teacher examining students with a final, in which the students are asked to demonstrate a semester of learning in one three-hour session?
What gets left behind in key decision making are the "day-to-day classroom assessments, which represent 99.9 percent of the assessments in a student's school life"
Several times the author alludes to ideas like “focusing on THE TEST, we are denying our young people valuable experiences they need in the 21st century,” but what are these experiences being missed?
Douglas Reeves (2004, cited in Deubel, 2007) provided good advice: "Even if the state test is dominated by lower-level thinking skills and questions are posed in a multiple-choice format, the best preparation for such tests is not mindless testing drills, but extensive student writing, accompanied by thinking, analysis, and reasoning."
I think the problem is illustrated by the high jump field event at track meets. The bar is set, if you jump over it you continue at a higher level. If you do not, you stay where you are until you have mastered the set of minimums. It is my opinion that age does not equal readiness. We have become a society where a student being held back is atrocious. It takes a major failure to admit that a student is not ready for promotion. In this I think we have the wrong name, it should not be no child left behind, it should be promoted when ready, and no student will be passed forward. In college, an administrator has no problem saying a person has not achieved senior standing and must remain a junior until that has been met. Fifth-year seniors are the normal now, not the odd exception. Could it be that the teachers would have a better chance teaching to the level their students will be tested, if the students themselves are ready to be at that level? I see a trend in the schools I substitute teach to separate, by ability the students in almost every subject. I am waiting to hear they have advance and remedial physical education.
“The combination of growth and achievement might lead to a more complete accountability system.
Deubel, P. (2008). Accountability, Yes. Teaching to the Test, No. The Journal .