Tuesday, May 16, 2006
"Playing the game" awards. . .
I work for a company that scores 8th grade graduation tests for schools in various states. It is my job to grade the essay portions of these exams and make certain that each essay contains the correct memorized answers in whatever baloney a student wants to pad the paragraphs with. The questions that are asked may be relevant to some students, but irrelevant to others depending on the environment in which the student lives and his or her background. Answers given do not necessarily reflect actual knowledge a student may or may not have about a subject. For instance, a student may know two memorized examples of telemedicine and two memorized explanations for those examples but most students could not give a clear and intelligent answer about what telemedicine even is. In many cases, the student could not formulate an intelligible response, and many had problems with spelling and grammar.
Because students are so busy cramming for exams, little time is left for really learning to use their basic reading, writing and math skills. Also, little time is left for creativity, criticial thinking, problem solving and pondering the world and universe.