This was another excellent debate, with good arguments on both sides.
I’ve found that one negative of the debates is that the sides are very black and white. This is probably due to the format (and I’m not complaining about the debate format – I’ve really been liking it) of having to choose sides and then argue vehemently on that side.
I’ve found, throughout the class, that this leads to the “all-encompassing statements” and sweeping generalizations.
Then we take to our blogs and we discuss the fact that the issue isn’t black and white, it’s a grey area. So, here’s yet another blog post on those grey areas!
Photo Credit: mmshomes
While the agree side did raise a couple of great points, like the money we spend on corporate products, the take away at the end of the debate was that this is happening whether or not we agree with it.
As a classroom teacher, I feel pretty powerless when it comes to what the government decides for me (in spite of me?) And, here in Saskatchewan it’s been a great week of wonderful news stories surrounding Education at the Ministry level. (end sarcasm).
Photo Credit: someecards
When the government decides to enact big business testing, the school divisions rush to catch up and classroom teachers get handed another task. For example, while teaching my very first Kindergarten classroom in 2012, the school board decided to make the EYE test, mandatory for all Kindergarten classrooms immediately, since the ministry was going to make it mandatory the next year in 2013. We had a day of training on the test – where a bunch of French immersion Kindergarten teachers were quite upset to have a test that we have to give in English – and then told that “this is what we are using, deal with it.”
Gif Credit: giphy
And then the work started. For the EYE that first year, we sent results home with children after the fact. Then we were told we had to meet with parents face to face to discuss the EYE results. Even though we had just had parent teacher conferences.
At any rate, I could go on for a while on the EYE and that’s just the tip of the iceberg for standardized testing. (The EYE is actually run by KSI research, based out of New Brunswick.) We have so many others in Regina Public, and there are other (sometimes more) examples in other school divisions.
So, when it comes down to it, whether I agree or disagree with this topic, standardized testing or corporate interests are happening anyway.
I ended up siding with the disagree side in the debate, narrowly, simply because other provinces and countries have it worse off than us, at least from what I’ve been led to believe.
But, how long will that last?