I guess our students are just not taking enough tests since we now have two more being proposed. The Educational Testing Service wants to assess how well students know how to use the Internet. A group of Senators and others want to test kids’ knowledge of American history.
The justification for testing students on their internet skills would confuse a lot of teachers. Many still hang on to the old myth that kids know much more about technology than adults. What they miss, of course, is that most of their students are using the computer for entertainment, not learning.
But do we really need a test? The ETS could better spend their money by creating a good national training program to help teachers learn to effectively use the web and other tech tools. The kids’ skills with using the web would improve tremendously if their teachers had a better understanding of using the technology. Not to mention more confidence.
As to the history test, just memorizing lots of names and dates won’t improve student understanding of our past. However, we’d all be better off if someone could find some way to get kids – and adults for that matter – to pay attention to the issues being address by their elected "representatives" in their name.