Our take on: standarized testing

Standardized Testing

Regardless of your opinion of standardized tests, they are here to stay for some time and we must work within the system to achieve positive change.

Our goal: To eliminate the disconnect in America between teachers and students, and standardized tests.

  • Whether considering college admissions exams, or state-wide standardized tests, there appears to be a disconnect between what is being taught in the classroom and what is appearing on the respective tests. Many people blame this on the test. Actually, upon close inspection, the tests and what happens in school have more in common than not. There is not a need to “teach to the test” as so many claim – good solid academic instruction year-round will yield test results that are acceptable to all parties.
  • At PEN, we take a different approach. We believe that these tests are by and large good tests that focus on concepts that parallel what is being taught in the classroom. If we can help students and teachers make this CONNECTION and understand how the concepts on the tests relate to their specific curriculum, then overall performance of schools will improve.
  • The problems in education are not solved by quick-fix approaches or fear campaigns that label these tests as evil entities that can be beaten. These tests are supposed to be extensions of what is being taught in the classroom, a monitor that makes sure certain concepts are learned. Oftentimes, however, teachers do not understand how what they are doing each and every day in the classroom directly relates to student performance on the tests. The consequence is that there is a false appearance that curricula take one direction while the test takes another.
  • The results can be amazing when teachers fully understand how a test relates to their classrooms. Armed with that knowledge teachers can then begin to focus on the presentation of the material, not on having to master an entire new curriculum or textbook series. Positive change is achieved by working with your teachers within your existing curriculum.