Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

[Susan notes: We need to repeat this mantra: Testing is not teaching. Say it loud and say it often: Testing is not teaching.

Not only is testing not teaching, the way Standardistos set things up, we can't even learn from the testing.]

Published in Chico Enterprise-Record

To the editor

The present policy of "Leave no child untested" seriously interferes with our children's education. Testing is not teaching, nor is drilling for higher test scores. The time wasted in test coaching, testing and test scoring is all time stolen from real teaching and learning.

Useful testing is done when teachers can use the results to find out (1) what students have learned (2) what skills or materials need to be retaught (3) which students need more help (4) which students need to go ahead to learn new skills or materials. Present state/national test programs provide none of this information for teachers.

Present test programs are foolishly used to rate schools. Two factors which make this foolish are (1) test results parallel parental income (percentage of students eligible for free and reduced price lunches are a useful indicator) (2) mandated testing programs only measure about 20 percent of what we want schools to teach our students.

The tests do not measure such things as (1) problem-solving ability (2) working with others (3) study skills (4) attitudes toward learning (5) developing ways to find information (6) appreciation of the many forms of art (7) respect for others (8) respect for our country, its traditions and institutions (9) developing new interests and ambitions (10) caring about students.

My background for the above is a total of 51 years in education as a teacher, principal, professor and school board member.

James F. Lindsey

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.