Should test scores define funding for public schools?
By CAITLIN WILLIAMS
For those that can’t afford the luxurious, extremely expensive private education, public school is arguably the next best option.
With the lack of school tuition, funding comes from the success shown by the students based on their texting scores. The higher the students perform on their state testing, the more money the state will provide to that school. But what is that money used for? New iPads for school staff members? New technology for the classrooms? Schools press their students into preparing for state tests every year. The curriculums for the year is steered toward helping students pass the tests.
In order to stop this from happening, the group Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools which included the two largest teacher unions in the country, organized “walk-ins” at over 800 cities in 30 cities.
According to The Washington Post, “The walk-ins became venues for many messages including de-emphasizing standardized tests, slowing down charter school growth and ending state takeovers of local school systems.”
Students and teachers participated with signs stating appreciation for their local schools and their employed teachers.
The state requires schools to administer these tests to students so that teachers are forced to follow a teaching curriculum that strictly follows what will be on the test. Educators have to teach their students based off the guidelines of the test and prepare them for exactly what will be on the test. Teachers are being held to blame for the students’ failures with these state-mandated tests. “If the student fails the tests, it shouldn’t come back on the student. It’s the teacher’s fault,” said Anna Heron, mother of her two sons, Ethan, 9, and Landon, 7.
So even though the state is forcing these tests upon the students and the schools, the teachers are the persons held to blame when the students fail to meet the ‘standard.’ “The curriculum was based off what we needed to know in order to pass.
Everything we learned in school was because it was going to be on those tests,” said Emily Welch, a recently homeschooled sophomore from Chancellor High School.
“The teachers would tell us that we had to learn it because it would be on the tests. They would purposefully word questions on quizzes or their own chapter tests so that it would ultimately prepare us for the question formats on the SOL’s state testing,” said Daisy Stover, senior at Orange County High School.
The idea that people can come together and support the better interests for the students is enlightening and positive. But the answer to this entire struggle within the public school system isn’t in the schools themselves but yet the states.
The state creates the test. But the educators are responsible for providing the students with the necessary knowledge to pass the tests.
But with these tests come limitations within the schools, and not just financially. The schools are limited in the classrooms to what they can teach. Teachers are supposed to follow the curriculum in place in order to give the students the ability to pass the state tests. This doesn’t mean the teachers can teach with the fluidity and freedom they’d like on the topics they teach every day.
The tests are unfair to students but they are also very unfair to the teachers and educating figures within the schools. Teachers must remain equals of the students.