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I was a student who had severe test anxiety. I would do wonderful projects that applied what I learned at a deeper level rather than fill in a bubble sheets for tests. I'm worried about how many of our "right brained" students will do in a district that counts 90% of their grade based on test scores alone.

I have concerns about this because although many creative, out of the box thinkers are extrememly intelligent, they just do not test well.
I worry that many schools will not meet the needs of multiple intelligences by just giving test after test with re-take packets before re-doing yet another test. And what about differentiation? Where do students with special needs fit into the realm of test after test?

I wonder: Are we preparing our students for future jobs where their intuitive skills and creative problem solving skills will benefit their employer or will our students not know how to "think outside of the box" and problem solve on their own? Are we in fact, "killing the creativity" in students as Sir Ken Robinson suggests?

Are we creating robotic thinking students who memorize well and regurgitate information for a test? How about the students who just aren't good at memorization? We live in a "Google" age. There are many dates in history that we can simply look up in a matter of seconds. Why do we insist on testing intricate dates and theories?

After teaching for 22 years, I believe these are valid questions that need to be examined. What are your thoughts on the above comments?

Rebecca English


I agree with you that they are valid questions and that you raise valid concerns. There is a
place for tests but tests alone do not provide balanced assessment. Balance assessment
provides all students opportunities to show what they know, understand can do. My friend
Damian Cooper puts it clearly and powerfully when he says to have balanced assessment
students need to have opportunities to 'WRITE, DO and SAY.