School is back in session after the holidays. Football season is coming to an end. Basketball is in high gear. And testing season is just around the corner!

Testing season!?

Yes, testing season. Sadly, that is what the early part of the year has become for students. I already have had both students and parents express concern regarding the upcoming tests.

I can remember taking a – and I mean “a” as one standardized test each year when I was in elementary school. The purpose of the test was to determine what we had mastered that year so that our teachers would know what to address the following year.

Unfortunately, the purpose of standardized testing has been terribly and quite possibly forever turned on its head. Rather than being a test for students, they have become a test for teachers.

Further, not only are the teachers “graded” on the success of their students, but so are the schools and the districts.

We never “studied” for the standardized test. We worked all year and took the test when it was time.

Now the teachers prepare the students for the testing by giving them similar questions and activities. Full disclosure – we do the same thing at j&R to help our clients prepare.

We do it because we have discovered that many third graders in particular really do not know how to take a test. They may know the subject matter, but the testing format can be confusing and frustrating.

But back to the schools . . . I thought the purpose of tests was to measure what a student has learned, not how well the teacher has done!

The schools and their staff get really serious about test preparation. I have seen otherwise good students become overly stressed and panicky in the two or three months preceding the spring tests.

Makes me nuts! The kids are in school to learn, not to make the teachers and/or the school look good! The kids can feel the stress and often, it causes them to actually do poorer.

There has been a major movement over the past thirty – forty years to operate schools more like a business. Unfortunately, the business model does not have a convenient way to accommodate children who just don’t happen to all be the same.

All children develop at their own pace. No two of them are the same. Yet public schools have deemed that ALL of them are to learn specific things at specific times. This provides NO allowance for the natural differences in children.

Talk about the square peg/round hole situation!

As long as we have a federal department of education that controls the purse strings, nothing is going to change. The worst thing we, as a nation, ever did to public education, was allow the Department of Education to be created.

It is no wonder that home schooling is rapidly growing.

So as we enter the Testing Season, I sincerely hope for the best for young students everywhere.

For more information about our tutoring academy please visit our website. http://www.jnrtutoring.com