Insight into impact of testing: ‘Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade’

testedIf you’re interested in an inside-the-school look at how testing is affecting teaching, learning and the curriculum, this is the book — “Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade.”

Linda Perlstein did her homework, spending a year in Tyler Heights Elementary School in Maryland. She spent days, weeks and months being a part of the school — observing in classrooms, eating in the cafeteria, talking with teachers, administrators and the kids.

If you’ve ever taught in K-12, you’ll hear the authenticity of Perlstein’s story.

The demands of preparing students for standardized tests. Not having time to include motivating and important learning activities because they aren’t on the tests. Having the curriculum changed by school district administrators who will never have to teach the course or use those materials or textbooks. Encouraging students to focus on school and the day’s lesson when they may be facing so many challenges from their home situations.

At the University of Florida, we have a required book for freshmen. I think this book should be required reading for all state and federal legislators.

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