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President Obama stresses on education beyond tests

April 1, 2011

By IBTimes Staff Reporter | March 29, 2011 4:10 AM EDT

An excessive focus on tests within schools could actually make students lose interest in education and teach them less about the things that are important, says President Barack Obama.

In a meeting with students and parents at a town hall hosted by the Univision Spanish-language television network at Bell Multicultural High School in Washington, D.C., President Obama was vocal about his belief that fewer standardized tests and less rigid measures of performance beyond students’ test scores could be more effective in raising the bar in the country’s education.

A report in the Associated Press quotes Obama as saying that policymakers should decide on a single standardized test, that could be administered in less pressurizing scenarios and preferably once in a few years, rather than annually. “All you’re learning about is how to fill out a little bubble on an exam and little tricks that you need to do in order to take a test and that’s not going to make education interesting,” said the president, adding that it was unlikely that young people would do well in something that they find boring.

The president even cited the instance of a test administered to his daughters and recommended such tests that actually intend to bring out the areas of strengths and weaknesses in the students, making it easier for teachers to identify the required areas of focus.

Obama also supported the use of technology in classrooms.

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