Sent to the Contra Costa Times, August 6
Patrick Mattimore's defense of multiple-choice tests ("Multiple-choice exams essential for education reform," August 5) misses the point. The issue is not multiple-choice versus other kinds of testing. The issue is not whether we need tests. The issue is the astonishing amount of testing the US Department of Education is planning for our children.
The Department of Education will require, as before, tests in reading and math near the end of school year but will also require testing several times during the year (interim testing), In addition, the Department is encouraging pre-testing in the fall and testing other subjects as well. Recently, the Department announced plans to test children before they enter kindergarten.
We all agree that assessment is part of teaching and learning. But the feds plan to impose more testing on our children than has ever been seen on this planet, far more than is helpful or necessary, and far more than the already excessive amount of testing required by No Child Left Behind. There is no evidence that this testing plan will increase achievement and plenty of evidence that it won't. It will also be a colossal waste of money.
Original article: http://www.contracostatimes.com/opinion/ci_18624465