Friday, May 28, 2010

Honesty, accountability, and my two cents

This isn't from just one place, but something I've seen in numerous places recently.
First issue I have is with standardized tests. I know that their mere existence is a rather hot button issue, and I'm not here to argue for or against them. Or even if they measure well or address anything important. That's another post for another day and probably one for someone more well versed in that topic then I.
My issue is with people who live in an area that requires standardized testing as part of homeschooling and who administer it in knowingly wrong ways. This includes ignoring time limits. Part of what the test measures is how children can do on that amount of questions in a given topic in that time period! Even if your child gets them all right when you give them more time, it's not fair. Extra time is allowed in certain circumstances- learning disabilites, ect. And I'm not talking about that- I'm talking about the parents who decide on their own that someone doesn't do well with being timed and to ignore the instructions.
My concern (besides the inflated scores) is that if too many people ignore and disregard the rules that people who follow the rules will be punished, too. There are enough people out there who dislike homeschooling and homeschoolers that I think we should strive to be above the board. And if lying on tests becomes a known big issue- we may lose the ability to administer them at home. We may end up with MORE regulation- and is that what anyone wants?
It's not just about you, your family, and that moment in time. It's about everyone that actions can impact.
I also have a big beef with people who lie on transcripts. If you choose to devote time on something that isn't required or doesn't count in your area- don't then lie about the subject to make it count. Counting on a transcript isn't the only reason a subject is valuable!
Why lie? And why do something that seems a whole lot like dishonesty and try to talk around it?


  1. I agree with you 100%. When you lie, you screw it up for the rest of us!

  2. Standardized tests are not valid if you don't follow the rules. So you really cheat yourself. That is, you don't get what you paid for; an accurate assessment of your student's performance. The results are all based on the standards. If you just want to know if your child has mastered the material you taught, you have your own tests etc. If you want to know how he compares to others at his age/grade level, then you have administer the test according to the rules.

    Giving more time is like dialing back your scale to pretend you lost five pounds.



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