Standardized Testing
I keep seeing these ridiculous commercials in the Philadelphia tri-state region about standardized testing in the state of New Jersey. Mostly, it’s a bunch of parents and teachers whining and complaining about how standardized testing is the Greatest Evil this world has ever known! At least that’s what I’m getting from them. And if I’m totally off-base in my understanding, I would love for someone to let me know.

I have great respect for teachers. There is no way they get paid anywhere near enough for what they do! Think about it… They are training – training – our future law-makers, our future president, our future judges and attorneys, our future police officers, our future chemical engineers, etc. So I can’t understand that teachers would really be against standardized testing when it can give them the insight to whether their children are learning or not, and where more work is necessary. So then we have these commercials.

Picture it! A group of “parents” and “teachers” sitting around a table in a room during a type of focus group meeting, telling each other what these evil standardized tests are doing to their children. Or the time its taking to prepare for the tests is taking away from this, that, or the other thing. Or one child cried because he was too tired to go to karate practice (with the father crying out: “What are we doing to our children??”).

I don’t know about you, but when I was in school – especially during the early years – we were tested all the time. And once a year they had “standardized testing” (they called them “achievement tests”) throughout the school. We had the booklet of multiple-choice questions, and a separate blank sheet with circles we had to fill in for our answers: A, B, C, D. And you know what? Our lives weren’t destroyed! We prepared for the tests, and then we took the tests. Yes we got tired doing our homework. Yes we cried (mostly out of frustration because Dad wouldn’t just give me the answer and made me think about it…) when we worked on our homework and studies. But never did any of our parents complain to the school district “What are we doing to our children??

In one of the series of commercials, one of the teachers argues, “All the other things that make you a great human being is not important anymore. What’s more important is you can answer A, B, and C.”

Well, DUH!!

People need to get a grip. Children need to learn. School is where they learn the answers to A, B, and C! It’s where they learn how to string together a proper sentence! It’s where they learn how to add and subtract numbers, and every other educational skill to get them a job to live their own lives!

So yes! Exactly! “All the other things that make you a great human being is not important anymore.” In school, it never was! It never should be! Those things are to be taught to the children by their parents and guardians! They should be taught those things through their religious upbringing! From their communities! They should be learning morality, and right from wrong, and RESPECT OUTSIDE of school BY THE PEOPLE WHO ARE RAISING THEM!!

This is why the next generation is growing up to be punks, and thugs, and disrespectful little self-centered trolls who think only of themselves, and who can’t even make change for a $10 bill!! These are the same kids that learned the worst thing they had to endure when doing something naughty was a time-out! These are the same kids that were never taught that shooting people because they got in front of you is not acceptable behavior!!

So, will someone please explain to me what all the fuss is about this New Jersey standardized testing? It’s the schools’ responsibility to competently teach the children reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic! That shouldn’t be confused with the parents’ (and guardians’) responsibility to teach them everything else.