I’ve seen a lot of articles recently on Virginia’s removal of state science tests, and on the House education committee’s upcoming debate about standardized science tests. Links are below.
It almost makes me want to shake people and shout: Do not keep asking for standardized science tests! You might get them! With all the teachers trying to get out from under the thumb of “teaching to the state tests,” with overpacked curricula aimed at overpacked exams given too often, please, please, please, think before you demand yet more testing. People are reacting to the removal of standardized testing as if it were dangerous; it is not. It is freeing.
I realize that people are doing this because they want to make science a priority. Me too. I can see the point that people make about how schools are getting focused around tests to the extent that anything not tested will not be taught. I get where they see that. I do not get giving into it. Demanding that science have its own standardized test locks us into a painful and joyless system. Let’s find another way, one that doesn’t suck the remaining life and spirit out of a beautiful discipline that taught us how to cure disease and sent us to the stars.