Problems With Testing

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Testing of school kids is a common topic and rightfully so. But, there are complications with testing  and especially the testing of children. So many differential factors come into play when a state or local schools decide to test for progress. Laudable goal but so far from the real reality that we all should question why and for what reasons. 

Let's begin with a known. That is testing over the many years in Tennessee has indicated a significant percentage of children that fail reading and our leadership sees the failing numbers year after year and you know what they commonly do?  Well, neighbor, they convene a blue ribbon panel. They largely conclude what we already know. Kids are failing reading.  Oh, some member of the group that carries a lot of weight suggests different texts or this one. Blame the teachers. Scores next year? Same or teeny improvement. 

The solutions are really fundamental. Children, all children, learn at different rates. The children in one reading group may catch on quickly and the teacher, if allowed, could move those children to a different, perhaps more independent reading program. The mystery group of the slower learners are not given the same approach or creativity to solving their issues. Time is not on the side of the slower learner. It is instead a speed walk through the academic year leaving this child, a good number in Chattanooga schools, behind where they stay behind and fall, not gain educationally. 

The new reading program, highly touted and all the shiny faces smiling into the cameras delight in sharing the new, but hide when we can't see the shiny faces.  They have no answers but for one. Spend more money. Let's look, instead, reading not as a speed walk, but a fundamental right for every child. Let's look, instead, as the individual learner a person of great value, precious if you will that we, all of us owe a successful experience in the public schools. 

We pay school administrations lots of money to solve problems for the child. The child's teacher, not paid very much money, given the responsibility of teaching all, then give no real creative freedom to solve the problem.  Put 3-5 2nd grade teachers together with a challenge. Give them the freedom of curriculum design and application; give them freedom to contact and develop relationship with parent and family and finally give them freedom to advance reading instruction to the place it needs to be. First.

Robert Brooks



The Mystery Of The “Surplus” City Buildings - And Response (2)

Mayor Berke’s Administration recently asked the Chattanooga City Council to declare “surplus” three city owned buildings near City Hall so they could be sold to private developers.   Property is typically considered "surplus" when it no longer serves the needs of the city and, therefore, the public. Two of the buildings are currently being used. Where are these employees ... (click for more)

The Saga Of The King Street Parking Lot - And Response

In July 2016, Mayor Berke’s staff asked City Council to declare "surplus" a heavily used city employee parking lot on King Street. Council then was asked to transfer title to the Chattanooga Downtown Redevelopment Corporation (CDRC), a city entity. In their presentation to Council, City staff said that they had been talking for a several years to the developer of the adjacent ... (click for more)

City To Delay Proposal To Surplus 3 Buildings Near City Hall

City officials said Tuesday they will delay action on the proposal to surplus three buildings near City Hall. Stacy Richardson, chief of staff to Mayor Andy Berke, said the staff still does not have all the answers to questions raised about the plan. She said the staff is still convinced that moving the buildings to the private market as part of the Innovation District would ... (click for more)

Hearing Delay On Suit Brought By State Democrats To Keep Robin Smith Off Ballot

A hearing has been delayed on a lawsuit brought by the Tennessee Democratic Party seeking to keep Republican Robin Smith off the ballot in House District 26. Ms. Smith was the only candidate after longtime Rep. Gerald McCormick abruptly announced he was leaving his post to move to Nashville. Chancellor Jeff Atherton on Monday afternoon said he could not take the case until ... (click for more)

Rectors Lead Hixson Past Lady Bucs In Season Opener

Robert Catlett may have been a little bit nervous before Hixson’s first volleyball match of the season Monday evening, but the guy who is now the head coach for the Lady Wildcats after many years as their assistant didn’t seem to show it. Hixson hosted the Boyd-Buchanan Lady Buccaneers in both team’s season opener and it was also the first match for first year Lady Buc coach ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Opens Volleyball Season With 3-1 Win Over Red Bank

Ooltewah defeated Red Bank, 3-1, Monday to open the Lady Owls’ 2018 volleyball season. Scores were 22-25, 25-11, 25-14 and 25-21. Madeline Mills, Jensen Davis, Ariel Reid and Cheyanne Sales led the Lady Owls with solid performances against the Lady Lions in the match played at Ooltewah. Mills had nine kills, 19 assists, 15 digs and two aces. Davis contributed 10 ... (click for more)