Public vs. private schooling

My name is Haley Davis and I am from Greenville, North Carolina. I am currently a junior studying Special Education at Tusculum University. My early education background was in a private school setting. I later switched before my last year of middle school into a public-school setting. My first experience with standardized testing was the end of the year exams which we would take as a class every year.

The teachers I had in private school were not nearly as concerned for standardized testing than my teachers in public school. So, I never quite realized the importance of them until I switched schools. Standardized tests to me were just elongated tests that would take the majority of the day at the end of the school year. I never had pressure to make a certain score, so I did not stress about them. I assumed they were a way to show what I needed to work on for the next year of what a teacher my want to work on with the next year’s class more.

Having the opportunity to experience both public and private school really shaped me to learn about education as a whole and how education could differentiate with style. Private school teachers were not as worried about standardized testing because they were not judged as educators by them. If public school teachers received bad test scores as a class, then their funding and in some cases, job could be at stake. The most surprising part about this conclusion was that in private school I had a more classical style of teaching while public school was a more progressive style. Altogether, what I can conclude from my experience with standardized testing is even if pressure is put on making good scores on these tests, the amount of learning will not increase or become more beneficial to students. 

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