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The Test: Why Our Schools are Obsessed with Standardized Testing But You Don't Have to Be

Anya Kamenetz

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Prose: non-fiction, Education

Combining a deeply informed and provocative narrative with practical advice, a nationally recognized education reporter provides an essential guide for parents, educators, and others trying to navigate the changing education landscape.

No sooner is a child walking and talking than the ABCs and 1-2-3s give way to the full-on alphabet soup: the ERBs, the OLSAT, the IQ, the NCLB for AYP, the IEP for ELLs, the CHAT and PDDST for ASD or LD and G&T or ADD and ADHD, the PSATs, then the ACTs and SATs,all designed to assess and monitor a child's readiness for education. In many public schools, students are spending up to 28% of instructional time on testing and test prep.Starting this year, the introduction of the Common Core State Standards Initiative in 45 states will bring an unprecedented level of new, more difficult, and longer mandatory tests to nearly every classroom in the nation up to five times a year,forcing our national testing obsession to a crisis point. Taxpayers are spending extravagant money on these tests,up to 1.4 billion per year,and excessive tests are stunting children's spirits, adding stress to family life, and slowly killing our country's future competitiveness. Yet even so, we still want our kids to score off the charts on every test they take, in elementary school and beyond. And there will be a lot of them.How do we preserve space for self-directed learning and development, while also asking our children to make the score and make a mark? This book is an exploration of that dilemma, and a strategy for how to solve it. The Test explores all sides of this problem,where these tests came from,

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