By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association
Last week began the soul-crushing season of standardized test taking in Michigan schools. The overemphasis on “bubble tests” dulls the love of learning for both students and educators. And it’s about to get worse.
Starting this fall, “student growth” and standardized test scores will account for 40 percent of educators’ evaluations, up from 25 percent currently — a move that will ratchet up pressure to spend precious classroom time doing “test prep” and administering more tests.
Ask parents — and employers — what they want for students at school, and they’ll point to tasks that develop skills, thinking and creativity. Open-ended experiments. Exploratory reading and writing. Music, art, physical education. Real-world problem-solving using math and design thinking.