I have been a bit remiss in discussing the 2017 General Assembly session, but the first post about the session will be one more than I wrote all last session, which was horrible of me to do. However, I shall now be horrible no more! Because, this is maybe the best legislation to be considered by the General Assembly this year.
This bill, if enacted, would restrict the amount of time that students spend taking standardized tests to 2% of class time, which, to me-- one out of every 50 hours spent taking a standardized test-- that sounds reasonable.
Not only would I like to see this bill pass, but I'd like to see the next level of this bill pass-- that time spent practicing for standardized tests, including, actually taking the test-- also be limited.
So I remember when I used to have to take the California Achievement Tests in the 3rd, 5th, and 7th grade. (I believe we also had something called the IOWA tests in the 4th and 6th grades, can anyone confirm?) Anyway, when the CATs came, we took the tests for four days, filled out our green bubble sheet with the answers, and turned the sheets back in. No muss, no fuss.
But does it work this way now? Is the Pope Polish? (and isn't it good to bring that saying back?)
No! Now, there's all sorts of prep tests-- sample tests, understanding how a specific standardized test words it's questions-- Holy Smokey, there's even teaching how to fill in the little Scan-Tron bubbles! What? Let's let that sink in. Classes To Fill In The Bubbles. It's all perfectly despicable and horrible And exactly what's going on now.
And what would the students of Maryland do with all the open class time? I don't know, maybe spend time doing something that encourages independent and creative thought? Maybe high school kids could maybe get about 6 hours back in their schedules to learn at least the bare rudiments and fundamentals of innovation and entrepreneurship? That would be nice.
I hope all of you in Readerland will call Senator Manno from Montgomery County, as well as your own, local Senator and Delegates, and urge swift and certain passage of this legislation
And let's be careful out there.
#hocoschools #mdschools #hococouncil #DeptOfEducation