Precinct 333

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Gee, I could have told you that!

But what do I know? I’m just a teacher.

It seems that a company that specializes in educational testing and materials doesn’t think much of the new TAKS test. They say it is little more than a minimal skills test, and not a workforce readiness test. It doesn’t show if students are ready for college, they complain.

Well, DUH!

It is a test designed to show that students meet the MINIMUM standards to graduate. Never has it been billed as anything else. It is the TASP that serves as a college readiness test.

I am especially fond of the quote from the Texas Education Agency spokeswoman:
"They're trying to make these tests do more than they were ever intended to do," said TEA spokeswoman Debbie Graves Ratcliffe. "They weren't intended to determine whether a student was ready for the job market or college. We're trying to determine whether they've mastered mid-high school level achievement. The test does what it's supposed to do, it just doesn't do what they want it to do."

As a teacher, I’ve got lots of criticism of the TAKS test, but I think this one is dead wrong. The test is given in eleventh grade, and so why would anyone expect it to cover twelfth grade material? It covers minimum graduation standards, so why would it include material from advanced electives? This study proves what I have always believed – Those who can, teach. Those who can’t become consultants.


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