Dr. Yvonne Fournier answering questions from a homeschooling family which moved to a testing state. Some highlights about the inherent tension between homeschooling and achievement tests:
Hassle-Free Homework: Achievement Tests Contribute To America’s Decline
By Dr. Yvonne Fournier,
U.S. School System Discourages Divergent, Creative Thinkers
In a world that begs for divergent thinkers (people who can think “outside the box,” meaning thinking the uncommon that could lead to extraordinary innovations), our children are measured, through achievement tests, on their capacity to be convergent thinkers – to select the one right answer to a problem that actually may have multiple answers.
Homeschooled children, because they read between the lines and think of possible answers that the test writers did not consider, are often penalized. According to standardized tests, they seem to lack ability because they did not or do not follow the “herd” mentality when answering test questions.
Instead, homeschoolers are able to question the questions, yet when a test expects the homeschoolers to stay with “the herd,” straying or adventuring is a definite negative.
In today’s world, convergent thinkers are no longer as valued in the workplace as divergent thinkers are. The number of pink slips covering the country is proof of this, and a message we certainly should take seriously.
Regardless of what your child makes on these tests, be comforted in the thought that standardized tests are simply another dinosaur in a dinosaur land called the U.S. school system.
Dr. Fournier also offers suggestions on dealing with the tests and testing.
Read the whole piece here.