I myself am a student, and can relate to memorizing something and forgetting it as soon as I pass a test or exam. I don't remember from last year what the Oil Embargo of President Carter's presidency is, and now I have to jump in and write a paper about it. I have forgotten everything about it and have to Google everything. I don't trust that schools will listen to a "mere student," but if they are reading this, I hope that they see my confession of memorizing things, not learning. So what if I have a knack for math and angles, it means that the school's average act/sat scores will go up, and they'll be thrilled, but right once I leave, it'll go down. Understanding so far? I don't do well in history because I tend to not understand how it relates to me. I sometimes struggle in math because the teachers want us to MEMORIZE the formulas. I can't memorize anything for crap. I need base information in order to do anything, no matter whether its in math, history, art, and any other subject. You can't just launch someone into something, there's no way that anyone could learn anything that way.
As a senior in high school still, I can agree with this statement. I've had conversations with some of my teachers and they tell me, that most of teachers really focus on these test because that is what they are measured on. Teachers do not make enough money to care if a student actually learns the information or not. As long as you score better on a post assessment than the pre assessment, they are fine. I have learned way more through reading books, going out and finding things out for myself, just going out in the real world. Schools do not teach much that is valuable in the outside world.
At school learning Is not really encouraged, teachers are always telling people to study for tests, but if they actually take the time to teach us things instead of just squinting people out into the workforce we might learn something, you talk to most people the summer after a class and they tell you that they don't remember what they should have learned because all they did was memorize and the squirt back onto a piece of paper on a test or exam.
Tests are necessary for assessment. It is up to the students to do with what they are taught. They can choose to memorize materials to pass a test or they can choose to study and learn the materials and as a consequence they will pass the test. So no, schools don't teach students to pass tests.
Passing certain standardized tests is what the state mandates in order to obtain your diploma. A diploma opens a variety of opportunities up to students, teachers care about the opportunities that are available to you in your life, therefore yes, we try to teach kids how to pass these tests. But school has many more benefits than that. I teach my students the importance or respecting themselves and their classmates, as well as the importance of following through on responsibilities. I teach them that honesty and integrity matter more than being top of the class or the best at an activity. I teach them the importance of doing what's assigned, even when they really don't want to. Testing is a form of assessment. An integral part of teaching is the assessment. Sure, you can give the world's best lesson, but how do you know whether or not they truly learned the concept? There needs to be a check for understanding. Tests are just one tool that many teachers utilize to assess whether or not a concept was truly learned. The state utilizes tests to ensure that students have acquired a base set of knowledge that is supposedly standard for anyone receiving a public educations diploma in that state, and to assess teacher effectiveness.
I guess it's also worth pointing out that whoever wrote this opinion topic couldn't have done so without the basic education they received, which supposedly didn't teach them anything useful except how to pass a test. Try to show a little more appreciation for those who have given you the gifts of reading and writing.
You must have at least some command of the English language enough to read and write. I would also guess that have learned quite a bit about math, science and other subjects. That being the case, it seams like school has helped you learn.
About the only exception is history. After all, the purpose to learning history is so you can apply that knowledge in the future. The problem is not that they test but what they test on. It has been to my experience that the tests focus on the who, when and where. To me, this is trivial and useless.
Columbus landed in the Caribbean in 1492.
Will Columbus discover other lands in the future? No, he's dead.
Will someone else discover the Caribbean? No use, we all know it is there.
Will something else happen in 1492? That's just silly. About the only useful bit about the date is it's relationship to the events that caused it and the events that came as a result.
The important things to know about a historic event is what lead to it and the outcome. This is because history tends to repeat itself. If we learned what is important, we could see tell when an event may happen in the future. If we want to avoid a similar outcome, we can act to prevent it.