Tag: answers

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The New Scarlet Letter

Something’s Gotta Give

Educators abound spend 90% of their time prepping students for state exams, and the other half of their time is spent complaining about them (my apologies to Yogi Berra).

The main complaint from teachers (and parents, and some legislators, and…) is that state exams zap too much valuable instructional time. The time spent in testing sessions is draining to students and ultimately results in a loss of class time.

The bigger argument against the way we mass assess our students (and the one that goes largely unvoiced) is that it does relatively little to prepare students for life and their future ahead.

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Education Is Not About Answers

Questions and Answers

In the grand scheme of education, the focus is almost exclusively on answers. Teachers teach students how to get answers. Students repeat those answers on homework and tests and more tests. Report card grades and test scores provide reassurance that the proper answers have been received and tallied.

This is the natural flow of education and has been for over 300 years since the first public school appeared in the United States. Whether the innate desire for correct answers originated with the advent of public education or was the result of the evolution of American culture is more of a chicken-and-egg question. No doubt that the need to have answers and to have the right answers is part-and-parcel of daily life anymore.