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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Monochromatic Butterfly: The Problem With High-Stakes Testing in Schools


Monochromatic Butterfly: The Problem With High-Stakes Testing in Schools
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Before relocating to Austin, I had spent eight years teaching math and/or science in Egypt, Mexico and Honduras at elite private schools that used American textbooks, American curriculum and were accredited by American institutions.  The majority of my students were not Americans, but graduated with a combination of diplomas: local, American and/or IB (International Baccalaureate). After graduation, nearly all attended college, mostly in the US, Canada and England, and a few remained in their own country for higher education.
 
I proudly returned to the US, toting my international bag of creative, engaging teaching tricks, especially curriculum-based projects that I had created, ready to dazzle my American students. So, imagine my utter shock when resettling into American life, teaching at an Austin public high school, and discovering that the standards were actually lower. Moreover, my teaching creativity was all but stifled for the sake of “standardization” in the most controlling environment I had ever taught. 

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