Testing Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story
How often have you found yourself staring into space as a result from boredom during a class lesson? Maybe it was because you were stuck and confused; was it because you didn’t understand half the words coming out of the instructor’s mouth? Or maybe it was due to the fact that you knew everything there is to know about the topic and learn nothing at all.
Paying more attention to students that should be educated on a higher level than their age group could have huge benefits, especially for the future of America. The New York Time’s article New Error Found in Scoring of Test for Gifted Programs claims that thousands of students have been incorrectly denied eligibility to gifted programs. However, it continues, mentioning that there may have been an additional 300 students that received the same misfortune because of a mistake from the testing company! Regardless of who looks at/grades these tests, this shouldn’t be the only source to determine whether or not a student has access to a gifted school, and resorting to understanding them on a personal level, such as an interview. If a student decides he doesn’t want to be put into another school, rather a more or less advanced class, there are solutions to this as well. In the public schools in America, the percentage of students who took AP Exams increased from 15.
9% to 23.9% over the past decade. I think it is excellent all of these students are going above and beyond to get in these extra classes, but again, one test or a series of tests is not the way to go about this. Having teachers connect with their students and better understand them can help find them the best placement of classes for his/her future. Afterall, tests don’t have human brains, which means they can’t infer/compromise,.
It should be clear that so kids can get the absolute best from their education, a human being talking face-to-face should be required to ask the questions and make the decisions. Granted, there is usually a person grading it, them correcting his/her responses and slapping a number on the front doesn’t quite cut it. Think of all the benefits of connecting with these students. It is better explained with an example: A teacher is speaking with a kid who knows almost everything there is to know about quantum physics, from the properties of a photon to string theory and he/she is sure that this is what they want their career to be. A test won’t tell someone this, but just imagine how accurately a teacher could recommend a class for them by simply having one single conversation.