Academic Testing: What good does it do?

Three articles in Education Week, Washington Post and Educational Researcher recently caught my attention regarding  academic testing and the “accountability movement.”  It seems odd to me that we are still arguing about the effectiveness of high-stakes testing after two decades of testing has had ZERO positive impact on schools. Very odd, indeed. When will we learn?  Maybe that’s the question that should be on THE TEST for any politician running for office.

 

The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better. by Daniel Koretz

“Because many people have been pretending that test-based accountability has been working as promised. Faced with pressure to raise scores, many educators cut corners, and one result was badly inflated score gains. Some cheated, but much of the fake improvement has been produced by bad test prep that isn’t considered cheating. … So time after time, we have had proclamations of success, but it’s often a sham.”

“Policymakers have ignored the fact that tests capture only some of what we want students to accomplish and even less of what we want schools to do… Inflated scores don’t provide a trustworthy indicator of what students actually learn.”

Read it here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/10/05/why-the-school-accountability-movement-based-on-standardized-tests-is-nothing-more-than-a-charade/?utm_term=.9f3e622bd3a6

Buy the book here: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/T/bo24695545.html

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Does test Preparation Mean Low-Quality Instruction? by David Blazar and Cynthia Pollard

“…efforts to improve standards and tests were insufficient conditions for increasing teaching quality.  … improving teaching and learning required coherence among the tests and several other policy instruments, including curricula and opportunities for high-quality professional development…

“…positioning testing and new assessments as the primary solution to instructional ills may distract from more comprehensive efforts to elevate teaching in U.S. classrooms.”

Read it Here:

www.aera.net/Publications/Journals/Educational-Researcher/Educational-Researcher-468

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We Made This Too Hard   by Jenny Froehle

“The idea that learning should be designed with a clear goal was, and still is, a good one… but basing lessons on lists of knowledge and skills, then measuring those skills to death for 13 years in discrete pieces that never seem to thread back together into any recognizable meaningful whole? That idea backfired on us.”

“As educators, we know it is past time for us to free learning from this constraining cocoon of regulatory nonsense. The world is complex; problems do not come packaged simply. Only practice with complexity can provide the experience our children need to survive in the unpredictable world ahead … ”

Read it:   We Made This Too Hard, by Jenny Froehle, Nov. 29, 2017 www.edweek.org

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