By Cloie Swain / Staff Writer
By Cloie Swain / Staff Writer
Walking into a school with no instructors sounds outlandish.
One of the dependable facts in modern education is that for as long as there is a student, there will be a teacher.
But for one school in Rhode Island, the no teacher scenario is becoming a reality in light of the recent firing of all 88 teachers on the instruction staff.
As appalling as that sounds, it does indeed get worse.
The reason for this plan, proposed by the Central Falls School District superintendent Frances Gallo, is that the students were doing too poorly on tests and had a dropout rate higher than the graduation rate.
So in response to this, as opposed to finding any other way to get kids to do better, Gallo canned the whole staff.
In a college atmosphere, one usually does not think of that ever happening.
Students are in college because they want to be, and therefore the end result is hopefully better testing scores.
But this whole problem, bad enough on its own, brings into light two other major issues in the United States school system today.
The focus on test scores to judge how a student population is grasping the material, and the lack of motivation in that very same student body.
It is no secret that a majority of college students believe standardized testing to be a waste of time.
For many they are a distinctly unpleasant part of the K-12 years.
Many classes in college are long, usually pushing a three hour time block.
A standardized testing day is at the least three hours.
So why should anyone care about some high school tests?
Clichéd as it might seem, one day some of our own children might end up enrolled in a system that is barely teetering along.
Some of the students here at RCC might even be watching their children struggling with it now.
The answer for all of this is the tests.
The bane of ever high schooler’s existence and reason for the job losses to over 85 educators in that Rhode Island school, standardize tests need to be either changed drastically or dropped altogether.
The level of importance awarded to these tests is disproportionate to their actual impact on students, and educators and administrators know that.
No one in any situation, be it work, school, or relationships even will put in an extraordinary amount of effort is no benefit to themselves is apparent.
In RCC or any college around the nation, instructors issue tests to strictly follow what they teach.
It directly affects students grades, and if they do poorly, perhaps their wallet as they must repay to take the class.
Money is a great motivator, which is why college exam rates are higher than K-12 rates.
Students with a financial investment in doing well will always run laps around kids who feel like school is a prison sentence and standardized testing is work duty.
So until K-12 students care, these tests will be continually perceived as a joke and ultimately more teachers will lose their jobs as officials scramble to hit their number mark.
At RCC, it is a relief that there are none of these tests to waste our time.
But we as a school community need to be aware of the injustices being done to not only the teachers in Rhode Island, but to the students there who are in for a bumpy ride on this quickly derailing school system.
STAR testing, SAT testing, and the innumerable other standardized tests have turned education from actually learning how to do something well, into how to answer these certain subjects that will be on the test.
Ridding students of these tests from public education is the only solution.
Firing an entire staff for being unable to motivate schoolchildren to do well on what can be seen as an unimportant test is obviously not the solution.
Knowing is half the battle, and the lessons from Central Falls High School at the expense of their staff is one that we need to take to heart and assure that it never happens to our own instructors.