By William Henning
Ron Maggiano, a revered teacher who has won numerous awards including the Disney Teacher Award for innovation and creativity and the American Historical Association’s Beveridge Family for outstanding K-12 teaching, has retired from the teaching field altogether.
After his 33 years of teaching, this was his reasoning for leaving a job he once loved: “I can no longer cooperate with a testing regime that I believe is suffocating creativity and innovation in the classroom. We are not really educating our students anymore. We are merely teaching them to pass a test. This is wrong. Period.”
Teachers and parents around the country are inflamed by this wave of standardized testing that is hurting the students. Rebecca Beller’s third grade daughter, Kate Wolfe, came home in tears after realizing she accidentally filled out the answer sheet wrong. In just third grade, she came home in tears over this testing because she knew how important it is to do well.
However, the students are not the only ones that are affected. Teachers can also be disciplined and fired if their students are not passing or doing well on these tests.
Teachers are a very individual part of the bigger picture. In some cases, schools and districts have been closed due to their poor performance in standardized testing.
New York has been at the front of this pandemic closing 91 schools since 2002. Most recently, Mayor Bloomberg has nominated 19 schools for closure on the grounds of poor academic achievement.
This influx of testing has only hurt our schools and education system thus far. Stressed students, fired teachers, and numerous school closings have all been common and horrifying effects of this new program.
Cutting down the number of assessments and decentralizing the school environment around them is shown to help students and accurately assess where they stand. Standardized testing is not all bad, however this immense focus on them is clearly hurting students and the school environment.