We expect too much from children.
It seems as if every day they have more pressure to face, more high standards to achieve and more stern looks if they should stumble along the way.
That is why standardized tests are entirely antithetical to what a good education system should be. Today, students are more worried about passing the tests than actually learning material vital to their overall educational experience, which is precisely the reason many of them are failing.
In an effort to solve this head-scratcher, Arizona will lower the achievement bar this year on its Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards test, which is supposed to gauge a child's knowledge.
According to a July 14 Arizona Republic article titled "Academic bar lowered to get schools on track," reporter Maggie Galehouse explains:
"Many other states (including Arizona) have chosen to drop the academic bar to give schools time and room for improvement over the next decade."
According to the article, Arizona will lower its standards for the next decade, each year expecting a little more until 2014. In 2014, all (yes, every single one) students are expected to be performing at a proficient level in accordance with President Bush's No Child Left Behind Program.
While expecting too much from children by forcing them to prove themselves with standardized testing is not the solution to Arizona's education woes, temporarily lowering the standards is an even worse idea.
How anyone expects every single child in America to perform at a proficient level is beyond me. Quite simply, it just won't happen.
In the meantime, children need encouragement, not bullying, to learn. And that is the ultimate goal of education: to learn.
They need teachers who pass rigorous tests before becoming educators. They need one-on-one interaction. They need to know that their parents and teachers have faith in their abilities.
What they don't need is a standardized test to lower their self-esteem and motivation when it labels them as "failing."
And the last thing they need is lowered standards, which tell a student, "Uh, Billy, we just got your test back. Golly, I guess we won't ask you to do better. But I'll tell you what: We'll make it easier for you to pass so you don't actually have to learn anything further from what you already know."
Right. Good luck Billy.