Friday, May 15, 2009

How much of what students are learning in school today applies to everyday life and are skills for future success?- Abstract and Final Summary

Upon the river of knowledge, a student will drift upon their raft until they meet a teacher who can guide them towards the delta and then the sea. This sea of knowledge, a plethora of standardized tests and exams and curriculums that they must attain as their portfolio of known facts to continue on their journey is a worthwhile venture, but must be evoked in a proper manner. Urban education today in the Newark area is getting better every day, but is still far below state and national standards. The test scores and the strangling hold the curriculums have over teachers is more of a hindrance rather than help. These government instituted laws and programs made by mostly non-educators, could use some work. At the beginning and at the end of the day, there is a teacher and there is a student; and that student must learn, and that teacher must teach. That is what is most important. This paper investigated the value and importance of the current education system (mainly the curriculum and the role of standardized tests) to the most important players, namely, the administrators, the teachers and the students. We found that a greater majority of the participants / respondents believe that the curriculum and the standardized tests are doing a disservice to the students and not adequately preparing them for the competitive world that they will face when they leave the doors of the school buildings. The students particularly felt that the schools' emphasis on getting good (or raising) overall test achievement scores (at all costs) contributes to the negative attitude that the students have towards learning anything else after they have taken those tests.

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