Living out of state, I was unfortunately unable to attend Dr. Bergeson’s visit to campus. I would have really enjoyed hearing her speak. I have, however, read through the notes take by several classmates and have come away with a rough outline of what Dr. Bergeson talked about.
The first thing that stuck out to me was her statement that it is vital we remove the punishment factor from standardized testing. I did my student teaching in Texas a few years ago during a time when districts and teachers were under great pressure to perform on tests. I witnessed seven teachers let go in the middle of the year for low benchmark scores. Nothing was more frightening for these teachers than the every approaching test dates. Not only does this make for panic-stricken teachers, but that feeling of stress can easily spread to the children they instruct. This is especially stressful for teachers who already feel under-prepared and lack training. Punishment for under-performing has so far, done the opposite of what it was intended for, to better the education of young people.
I really wish I could have attended to hear Dr. Bergeson discuss the Common Core State Standards. I don’t currently work in the public school system, but in early childhood, which is obviously much less regulated. I have worked as a 2nd and Kindergarten teacher in Texas in the past and remember the effects the Texas State Standards had on the curriculum and even the atmosphere of the entire school. I hope that with hard work and knowledgeable professionals that work together towards a common goal of successful, excellent education, the Common Core State Standards can become the positive step that the education system needs.