House Bill 4-405 is an act to reform the educational system by reevaluating standardized testing. According to the author’s bill, Helena Bednarski states that standardized testing has been shown to be ineffective and unnesseray opposed to project-based learning which teaches students how to approach real-world problems through their own research and knowledge. Project-based learning according to DefinedSTEAM is, “ an instructional methodology that encourages students to learn and apply knowledge and skills through an engaging experience. PBL presents opportunities for deeper learning in-context and for the development of important skills tied to college and career readiness.” PBL focuses on engaging students with real-world problems is the application of knowledge and skill not just recall and recognition. The role of PBL allows the role of the teacher to shift from content-delivery to a project manager. In order for a decision on whether or not the bill should pass an extensive amount of debate and discussion was made. There were many affirmative and negative speeches and negation speeches in order to finalize a decision. After a long debate, the bill was passed. One affirmation speech that was made was from Eskew Jordan in which she stated, “I would agree with this bill because standardized testing is a form of evaluating how good you are at taking the test: whether or not you are a good test taker. It’s not necessarily a reflection of your general intelligence or how much you know, I believe that we should reevaluate it in the form of standardized testing should be accommodated for different types of behaviors such as if you are a kinetic, auditory logical thinker, it should be accommodated towards your specific preferences instead of one baseline test. These tests don’t necessarily reflect your intelligence. These tests are not a reflection of how much you know but more so how fast you can answer or how logical you can answer a question. This doesn’t mean that I think we should get rid of standardized testing as a whole but revaluating its purposes.” Although the bill did pass there was a negation speech based on the appropriation clause after this debate there were amendments created in order to better the clause. In an exclusive interview with Helena Bednarski, she ran through the process of the creation of her bill and the reason behind it. In the interview, she stated “I believe standardized testing has the opposite effect of what they think they are trying to achieve which is gaining a standard evaluate of what students are learning in school, it has the opposite effect because it’s not allowing students to use their brain stimulation to apply real-world knowledge. Having multiple choice has nothing to do with the real world and real-world situations that you find in careers and such and so I believe that if we reevaluate standardized testing to project-based learning students would be able to learn and broaden their knowledge. With standardized testing, a multiple-choice question could be answered incorrectly and that’s usually the end of it because most students don’t look back. I disagree that standardized testing helps students because it doesn’t gain a raw evaluation of what students really know. Also adding in stress, stress can decrease what a student is thinking. And during taking a test I can personally say that my brain and students’ brain can shut down even if they know the topic, because of test anxiety.” After all the points were made by the author herself and the affirmative speeches, Helena does not believe we should replace all standardized testing because she does believe that it is important in some situations such as gathering statics and such but if we are referring to the content learned and evaluating their skill sets for potential career paths project-based learning is the way to go. “I just hope that one day project-based learning will get the attention that it needs and deserves because when students are given project-based learning it really shows what their actual skill sets are and how they apply it: it shows their thinking pattern and standardized testing does not only need to be reevaluated for the students sake but because it unfair. Teachers have no say even though they are the ones who are having first-hand experience with standardized testing they have absolutely no say in what the standardized testing will look like, so they shut out all the people who have experience and let it up to officials who have little to no experience in education to decide this, its unfair because these officials will say these scores do not match the standard skill level and they will say that because of profit. How is it reliable that we can trust these officials to tell us whether or not we’ve met the standard when they’re making money out of it?”
It has been an exciting first day at the 73rd annual YMCA Youth in Government program. It has
been especially interesting in house committee one which encompasses the subjects of
Business, Tech & the Workforce. There has been a common trend throughout the bills that were
presented, many of the bills were focused on education, plastic and immigration. These topics
are controversial both inside the house and inside the United States. The argument of
immigration is a prime example of this. Whenever the subject of immigration is brought up
there’s bound to be some intense arguments that spark up. But not in the house whose
members have sworn to have a civil discussion on the basis to better the bills and therefore the
districts and people, they represent.
One bill that did make some waves in the house was House bill 1-106. Its goal was to “ban
private companies and non-governmental organizations from participating in immigration
determination in the state of Colorado.” The bill proposed to ban companies from detaining
illegal immigrants and to release them within 3 months or else they would face serious fines.
The bill was fiercely defended on both sides, for and against. One argument that was brought
up was that the penalty clause was not clear enough, so there was no specification on where
the immigrants would go if there was no room for them elsewhere. A conclusion was reached
where the people who are not a danger to this country would be released while the people who were deemed a threat would remain detained therefore allowing more room to be given. This is a fantastic example of how the people of the house can come to agreements and create a harmonious event. There were also other proposals which had commonalities, for example there were two bills presented today which dealt with plastic and the overall effect they could have on the environment. They mostly focused on the small step that they could take on the path to
conservation. House bill 1-102 wanted to “limit the amount of plastic used by companies,” while it was a good idea in theory it was analyzed by members of the house and was determined to be unclear, so ultimately it failed to pass. The other bill, House bill 1-104 also focused on the reduction of plastic and this bill passed. These two bills show that the youth of today has taken a liking to the environment and the preservation of it. People now care about the environment more than ever and they have taken many strides to do something about it, these proposals exemplify this. The members of House committee one have done an outstanding job to review the bills and to view them in an unbiased perspective. These young students are an embodiment of what the kids of this world could be.