Education in confusionMost of the nation’s students sat for the Nationwide Scholastic Achievement Assessment Test, submitting to the standardized test before advancing on to the realm of higher education. They agreed to take the test despite suggestions from liberal superintendents of education that they abstain.
The number of students who opted out of last Tuesday’s assessment totaled 436, a paltry 0.02 percent of the 1,939,000 sixth graders, ninth graders and 11th graders who were eligible for the test. We can safely say that the majority of the nation’s students have taken the tests.
It is fortunate for the future of education in this country that most students and parents turned a deaf ear to the progressive superintendents of education who campaigned against this academic performance review.
Superintendents, who should lead their schools with the best interests of their students in mind, and parents, who should strive to give their children the best education possible, must contemplate the message sent by the liberal education leaders who allowed and even encouraged students to decline to take the test.
In particular, it is the liberal superintendents of education who must apologize for creating such confusion and unrest in our schools.
On exam day, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and regional education offices sent out two contradictory notices to schools about the test. As a result, students could decide whether or not to take the tests, and teachers did not know whether to administer it.
For example, the Gangwon Province Office of Education unilaterally cut out the government’s public notice on the test and sent out an edited version to schools. Such incongruity can seriously undermine trust in education policy.
It is unacceptable behavior for educators who are supposed to serve as role models.
These educators must change their negative bias against academic assessment tests.
Contrary to what liberal educators might say, the purpose of the test is not to grade and differentiate students and schools, but to help struggling students to improve. The evaluation gives students four grades - excellent, good, basic and below expectations. Meanwhile, schools receive one of three grades - excellent, basic and below expectations. The role of superintendents is to lift struggling students and schools to improve their academic levels.
To prevent further confusion, the Ministry of Education must put its foot down and instruct both students and educators to follow the rules. It must take stern action against the teachers who refused to give the test to students and against the superintendents who disregarded their mission as educators.