Monday, May 21, 2012

Homework and standardized test debates

I think there is a strong overlap between the current debate over standardized tests and the debate over homework policy. Here is a comment I wrote to an article in The Washington Post. For me, this is the most important line in this article is “standardized tests also erode the student’s relationship with his or her teacher.” This is the intangible factor that puts standardized tests and homework in a common category as both interfere with relationships. In the end, child development is based on quality relationships between children and adults: strong relationships between children and their teachers, strong relationships between children and their parents. The fact that many parents value standardized testing does not outweigh the fact that many teachers are prevented from using their judgment and relating directly with their students any more than the fact that teachers (and many parents) value homework does not outweigh the fact that individual parents are living a nightmare, trying to be effective authorities with their own children, burdened by unrelenting homework pressures. Standardized testing and homework are essentially the same issues and need to be understood as such. Kenneth Goldberg, Ph.D.

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