Right-Brained, Wrong Brained? Let's Be Done with Standardized Testing!
Lorda mercy. It seems by now I would’ve learned not to get so riled up about things. Seems I would have figured out that I can’t change all the things I think need changing in this world. “Take a break, Lisa, let the young mothers do it,” a close friend told me last week as I ranted on and on about the problems in education.
There’s a woman in NY who I follow on Twitter. She really gets going about 9 or 10 at night. This woman, Diane Ravitch, is my "hero" when it comes to education. Not only is she about my age and still fighting -- which is a rarity -- but she’s also creative in how she approaches solutions. I love that about her.
Just now she tweeted about a New York Times article and the content sent me a-spinning again. It referenced the inadequacies in testing. You see, when I applied to Auburn I took two types of tests. One was the ACT, the other was a standardized test to get into the School of Architecture. I squeaked by on the ACT, barely getting accepted into that university. But the other one? I aced it. I was one of the first two women ever admitted into that program.
The architecture exam actually tested the other side of my brain, the creative part. My creativity was deemed important enough to give me a chance.
Oh, people, just imagine if we did that today. Right here in Georgia, at the University of Georgia, we have a world-renown department called the Torrance Center which developed a "right-brain" standardized test years ago. Only our gifted students get to take it to gain entry into the elite programs.
Imagine if some of our troublemakers -- or day dreamers -- took it? Wonder if we’d find their talent warranted a chance at those elite classes? Wonder if "those ADD and dyslexic kids" took those kinds of tests. What if we tested each child to find their gifts and supported those? No, we test to find WHAT’S WRONG with children and then pound in their little heads how poorly they’re performing.
Oh, my blood pressure is zooming. I just don’t understand why we as a society let this continue. Are we too busy to see what’s happening? With all the jobs, careers and colleges acceptances that hang on test scores, why aren’t we demanding they be changed and made more balanced?
If I could change just one little thing before I die, it’d be the way we test and teach our kids. I’d love to see these little right-brain children feel that their God-given gifts were just as important -- just as special -- as the others’.
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BTW: Did you know that, as a parent, you can legally have your child "opt-out" of standardized tests? Have you seen the latest list of colleges and universities not requiring standardized tests (Wake Forest, NYU, Univ of Texas among them). They are realizing that they’ve lost many talented kids because of test scores
Please ignore my grammatical and spelling errors. My talents lie elsewhere