There has been much consternation in recent weeks about the amount of standardised testing the British government is determined to impose upon English school children. Children don’t learn any more or any better because of standardised testing, unless there is feedback on how they can improve. But SATs seem to be the weapon of choice for many governments across the globe. It seems that little else matters but the metrics by which our political masters judge our schools. At a recent head teachers conference, one of the most astute comments was ‘you can assess without testing.’
One additional piece is the belief that students hold toward grades, and how teachers can perpetrate the belief that students are only in school to earn a grade, and learning is just a nice side effect that may occur.
Too many times this past year I’ve been asked, “Is this for a grade?”. One time is too many.