It should really not surprise anyone that teachers in several states have been caught recently cheating on the standardized “No Child Left Behind” tests. The idea of using one simple test each year to tell if a child is getting a good education invites such cheating. And this is really just a small part of the problem.
Even without teachers and administrators changing the test results, cheating of another kind is rampant. That cheating is where the teachers concentrate on teaching what it on the test and skip, or barely cover, important information that isn’t on the test. In other words, the kids are not being truly educated, they are simply being taught to pass the test.
Sadly, an assembly line type of education system produces results similar to an assembly line car compared with one hand assembled by a small group of dedicated workers. Plus, the assembly line method lacks the ability to adjust to a rapidly changing situation which is what the world today is.
While I can applaud the concept of “No Child Left Behind”, the implementation of it needs work, and lots of it. First, the educational system needs to be able to change with the times. Second, teachers should have the flexibility to let a child after a certain age, concentrate on his strengths rather than his weak areas. We don’t force the captain of the basketball team to play football, why do we force the kid who’s good at arts to spend much of his study time doing science and math that he doesn’t like, or make the kid who is good at science, go to summer school to get a passing grade in art class. A kid should be allowed to get poor grades in one or two subjects he doesn’t like, if he is getting very good grades in the others.
As for the studies that are always ranking the U. S. students far from first in education, perhaps it is the system used in these studies that is flawed. And I have to say, as you might expect, that an education that ignores the spiritual side of the person is always going to be seriously flawed.