Tuition or the test?
Posted July 18, 2012on:
For the most part, I agree with the parent who wrote in the ST forum, S’pore way works, but only with tuition.
If we did not have access to tuition, our students would not be so test-smart. I doubt that visiting delegations are told that tuition is the latent factor that contributes to high test scores.
But I have loads to disagree with in the paragraph below.
It is perhaps unfortunate that research has shown that feedback  , not smaller class sizes, is more important for effective learning. I guess one could justify smaller class sizes so that teacher could provide more and better feedback.
What is age-appropriate testing? What suits one 10-year-old child does not suit another. Current testing is about applying a standardized worldview on to an increasingly unstandardized world. The issue is less about tuition and more about testing.
If you want to disrupt the economy of the tuition nation and change the culture from one of comparison to one of compassion, then taking our reliance on tests as we know them is one key leverage point. Changing the tests so that they are “age-appropriate” is not going to make a dent. We will just see “age appropriate” appear on tuition centre banners and flyers.
Despite my tame critique, this does not take away from the fact that concerned parents and citizens are voicing their concerns about schooling and the testing regime. I just hope that they put their money where their mouth is instead of plonking it on tuition.