"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Reconsidering testing in Texas

Reconsidering testing: Some fundamentals
Sent to the Austin-American Statesman, Feb 21, 2012
A year's delay to reconsider the role of testing is a very good idea (“It’s smart to step back on STARR,” Feb 20).
I hope that those assigned to study this issue will look at the evidence showing that increased testing does not result in increased achievement, the evidence showing that teacher evaluation of high school students (grades) is a better predictor of college success than standardized test scores (the SAT), and studies showing how much time is spent on “test preparation” (activities designed to boost scores on tests but do not result in learning), I also hope the study group will attempt to determine the true cost of standardized testing.
If the study group does this, I predict that they will conclude that making standardized tests a part of students’ grades is a bad idea. They will also conclude that Texas is doing much too much testing.
Stephen Krashen
Original article: http://www.statesman.com/opinion/its-smart-to-step-back-on-staar-2188700.html#.T0O-tzIn2fI.email
Some sources:
Teacher grades a better predictor
Bowen, W., Chingos, M., and McPherson, M. 2009. Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America's Universities. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Geiser, S. and Santelices, M.V., 2007. Validity of high-school grades in predicting student success beyond the freshman year: High-school record vs. standardized tests as indicators of four-year college outcomes. Research and Occasional Papers Series: CSHE 6.07, University of California, Berkeley. http://cshe.berkeley.edu

Increased testing does not result in increased achievement:
Nichols, S., Glass, G., and Berliner, D. (2006). High-stakes testing and student achievement:
Does accountability increase student learning? Education Policy Archives, 14(1). http:/
epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v14n1/.
OECD 2011. Lessons from PISA for the United States, Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264096660-en

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