Koretz Test Prep

This article written by Koretz talks about the different types of test preparation and if test preparation is a good or bad thing. Koretz starts off the article by talking about three types of bad test prep which are reallocation between subjects, reallocation within a subject and coaching. This article continues by talking about issues that are going on right now. Schools are cutting back on the art programs to add additional time for math, science and reading; subjects that are deemed to be more important. The subjects like social studies and art are not being focused on because they are not the subjects that standardized testing likes to cover. Standardized testing is the next topic our author talks about in their passage, bringing to the surface the fact that not all students test the same way and learn the same way. Teachers are bringing up the issue that they don’t want to teach things that will only show up on a standardized test and nowhere else in the real world. As we read through the article, we get a sense of why the author does not like test preparation because standardized testing and testing prep in general, is just the students reiterating what they memorized for the test and not testing on what they actually absorbed. Students are not actually thinking why is the correct answer actually correct and is instead more focused on getting the right answer. Test prep methods have been part of my education in many ways. At a young age, I learned how to copy and paste the answers the teacher wanted on the test instead of thinking for myself why the right answer is right. It is hard to absorb information when teachers are more concerned with their students getting the answers right than if their students comprehend what is going on. Test prep got me through standardized testing but did not enlarge my comprehension skills at all. I do believe that test prep methods corrupt the idea of good teaching because there are teachers out there who only care about the scores their students receive on standardized testing and they believe that those scores show their validity of their teaching skills. Those teachers are not necessarily good teachers because they don’t really care if their students understand the information or not. They only care about rather or not the students get it right on the test. Good teaching is not defined by the classes overall rating in test taking. Good teaching is to make sure the students understand why the information is important in the first place. The point of testing is to check knowledge and it can be both a good and bad thing. The benefits is to see if the student is grasping any of the information at all but the drawbacks are the pressure it places on the student. I do not think we can get rid of testing entirely because it is a good way to gage the students grasp on the information but testing shouldnt be the only way to get that information. The student might understand the information rather well and is just bad at testing and it is important for the teacher to understand this and to have grades based on class work and testing.

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