Tests don't measure the things that matter

We falsely equate good test scores with a good education.

This school year Maryland educators launched a statewide advertising campaign to emphasize the need to cut back on standardized testing ("Less testing, more learning," Aug. 31).

We are so focused on testing that people have come to believe that good test scores are a reflection of a good education. That is a false assumption — just as we learned the SAT is not an indicator of success in college.

We need to re-evaluate the testing process and give kids the opportunity to develop at their own pace. Children don't learn to walk or talk on the same day, and it's the same thing with education.

Right now, the way we measure development is by testing. But that test is just a snapshot of what a child could do on that given day. If the student had a headache or there was excessive noise outside the classroom and they did not perform well, that is not an indicator of what they have or haven't learned.

More students are leaving high school unprepared to fit in the real world. We need to spend more time in the classroom giving our students the tools they need to thrive in the 21st century. Can our students go out and get a job? Do our kids have the tools they need to be successful? That is the ultimate test.

Ben Shifrin, Owings Mills

The writer is head of Jemicy School.

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