The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Top News

November 29, 2012

Commerce ISD leader: 'Take the handcuffs off of the schools'

Superintendent speaks out about testing pressure in the classroom

COMMERCE — Commerce Independent School District Superintendent Blake Cooper is not afraid of accountability for school districts in standardized testing, but he said the state has gone overboard on it.

“We have high expectations for our kids, but when we spend 47 out of 180 school days on testing, then there’s too much testing,” he said. “When you take all that they want us to teach our kids in depth, there’s not enough time.”

Cooper said the state has put too much emphasis on test taking and has put forth a system that doles out punishments.

“Instead of testing to see where we need to improve, it’s a punitive program,” he said. “When the reputation of a school district is based on the reading grade of a third grader, that’s where we’ve taken testing and accountability too far.”

Cooper said expectations for teachers are unreasonable and unhealthy for the children.

“In history you have 250 points they want us to cover over a year,” he said. “How can you teach to the depth and the rigor that is needed when you have to teach so much in so little time. It’s the difference between skimming the surface of a pool to clean the leaves from the top and getting a big cleaner and taking the time to suck up the dirt from the bottom.”

According to Cooper, it is both frustrating to him as an administrator and to teachers because of the stress placed on them.

“They can’t really teach creatively and spend the time to teach the critical thinking skill,” he said. “The state’s got to take the handcuffs off of the schools.”

Cooper said the testing days take away from valuable time that could be used to teach students.

“This affects kids because we can’t spend more time preparing kids for college and the workplace,” he said. “They’re losing the ability to think critically.”

According to Cooper, although the teachers are under more stress than ever, his teachers have not lost the heart to teach well.

“Our teachers do a great job,” he said. “What motivates our teachers is knowing that our kids deserve just as much of a quality education than anyone else.”

1
Text Only
Top News
House Ads
Featured Ads
Poll

Who should the Houston Texans take with the first pick of the 2014 National Football League draft?

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
Central Florida QB Blake Bortles
Auburn OT Greg Robinson
Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack
Clemson WR Sammy Watkins
Texas A&M WR Mike Evans
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Real Estate News