Improving Education System: Test Scores shouldn’t Matter

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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When I younger, I remember my fourth-grade teacher came up with a system of giving stars out by your name and she would hang it on the wall where everyone can see. She would give out stars for many different things like if you were good, or you went home and finished a book and came back and told her she would give you a star by your name. The reading one if where most of my classmates would get a star.

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If you would get so many stars by the end of the month you can choose from many different rewards from having lunch with the teacher or getting a treat when it was silent reading time or get one of these cool balls you can sit on for the whole day. I was always trying for the ball seat because my friends would always rave about that reward. I was one of those kids who never really got a star by their name. So eventually I just gave up. So, whenever she would say “go home and read so you can get a star”. I would usually roll my eyes and mumble to myself “what’s the point”. I am never going to get rewarded. So, I just gave up.

In Steven Coveys The 7 habits of Highly Effective People: Think win/win paradigms of interactions there are 6 paradigms which are win/win, win/loose, loose/loose, loose/win, win and no deal. No deal is when both parties decide they can’t come to an agreement that works for both of them, loose/ loose is when both and win is when the person just wins

But the three most common ones are win/ win, lose/loose and win/loose. Win/win is when both parties have to meet in the middle without forcing the other person to do something. Lose/lose is when nobody wins and lastly win/loose is when one side only feels the outcome as positive. I think the education system is a win/lose situation because usually one side benefits and the other side doesn’t. The United States needs to move away from the win/lose paradigms and be more of a win/win situation with their school.

An example is when Ken Robinson talks about a lunch he had with a girl named Gillian Lynn she’s a choreographer who did cats and Phantom of the opera. She said she didn’t like school and her teacher sent a not home saying they thought she had a learning disorder. Her mother took her to a specialist and he wanted to talk to her outside before he left the room the doctor turned out some music and Gillian started dancing. He said “She isn’t sick, she is a dancer”. Now she is a well-known chorographer. If they would have not known to get her into dance who knows what medication she would be on, that she didn’t need. This is a total win/lose situation because then they really didn’t know what to do with somebody with an artistic ability. They wanted her to sit still and be quiet. This shows if we don’t start rewarding our children more on their artistic abilities and less on what their GPA score is, or having them stress over a grade that they are getting. Robinson shows that some students that don’t perform well in school work, but once they start doing a creative activity they do great and have no trouble with that activity.

Another example is when he gives an example in his Do Schools Kill Creativity TED Talk he says “all kids have tremendous talents. And we squander them, pretty ruthlessly.” Robinson suggests that what the schools are doing is killing being creative and focusing more on reading and math skills and no time on allowing students to be creative and see if their passions are more being more artistic. This shows a win/lose situation yes, the schools are focusing on what the students need to move on and get into whatever college or path they choose but it is not allowing them to explore the more artistic side. Not every child is going to take the same path of going to college. I think we need to encourage these kids to be explores and fallow their hearts and not put so much pressure at an early age about grades and test scores. They need to be allowed to make mistakes so that can shape them into the adults they are meant to be.

In “What Student test-takers share with Ejected Airline Passengers” by Alfie Kohn talks about a situation that happened on an airplane. Where a United Airline oversold a flight and asked a doctor to give up his seats for one of their employees to get home. He connects that situation that happened and the education system. “So, no matter how well or poorly they were taught, no matter how difficult the questions, exactly 10 percent of the students (or schools) will always score in the top 10 percent. And exactly half will fall below the median and look like failures. Always” (Kohn). This show a win/ lose situation because some students will be at the top and some will be at the bottom. It is also saying no matter how hard some of these kids work they are just not going to be good test takers. Some are good and some are just not, and that is okay. We need to remap our education system to better assist those who are just not good in school.

Lastly kohn talks about how the Unites States just wants to have the top rates schools “Consider the sport of ranking the U.S against other nations on standardized exams. Even if these tests were meaningful indicators of the intellectual proficiency, which is doubtful, specifying how well one country’s student perform relative. To those elsewhere tells us nothing of interest…………Exclamatory headlines about how “our” schools are doing compared to “theirs” suggest that were less concerned with the quality of education than with weather we chant, “We’re number one!” (Kohn). This example shows that most schools are more concerned with their test score, where they rank against another school, and less concerned about the quality of education. This is a total win/ lose situation because the U.S is just worried about being number one then their actual quality of their school systems. It’s really only benefiting the school system and less the students. There are not getting the best education as they deserve.

If we could come up with an education system that worked for everybody that would be wonderful. Instead of where it works for only side. We can come up with something where everybody would benefit, and be able to have the best education as possible. We should start from scratch and come with an education plan where we are encouraging all sides, and include art and music into the curriculum. So, we can see what passions are kids have. So, it is a win/win situation for both sides. The schools will look good and the kids are getting being taught to be creative and think outside of the box. We should also take the pressure away from grades and teach them not be being worried about their grades. Come up with another system instead of grades, where we can see where the kid falls in but it is not the end of the world if they are not in it. We should encourage not discourage.

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Improving Education System: Test Scores Shouldn't Matter. (2022, Jun 20). Retrieved from