Tuesday, May 22, 2012
The coming deluge of tests
Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, May 22, 2012
I wonder how many people are aware of the amount of testing that will eventually accompany the Common Core Standards (“State plans big changes to testing, instruction,” May 21). It will be more than we have ever seen on this planet, and much more than the already excessive amount demanded by No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
Testing done at the end of the school year will be expanded to include all subjects that can be tested and more grade levels. As noted in Union-Tribune, there will be “interim” tests given through the year and there may be pretests in the fall to measure growth through the school year.
This means about a 20-fold increase over NCLB.
The cost of implementing these electronically delivered national tests will be enormous, bleeding money from legitimate and valuable school activities.
There is no evidence that all this testing will improve things. In fact, the evidence we have now strongly suggests that increasing testing does not increase achievement.
More grade levels to be tested: PARCC document: http://www.parcconline.org/sites/parcc/files/PARCC%20MCF%20Response%20to%20Public%20Feedback_%20Fall%202011%20Release.pdf; Race to the top for tots: http://www.ed.gov/early-learning/elc-draft-summary. (For a reaction, see http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2011/07/stephen_krashen_race_to_the_to.html)
Interim tests: Duncan, A. September 9, 2010. Beyond the Bubble Tests: The Next Generation of Assessments -- Secretary Arne Duncan's Remarks to State Leaders at Achieve's American Diploma Project Leadership Team Meeting: http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/beyond-bubble-tests-next-generation-assessments-secretary-arne-duncans-remarks-state-l. The Blueprint, (op. cit.) p. 11. “U.S. Asks Educators to Reinvent Student Tests, and How They Are Given,” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/03/education/03testing.html?_r=1
Testing in the fall (value-added measures: http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/secretary-arne-duncans-remarks-statehouse-convention-center-little-rock-arkansas (August 25, 2010). The Blueprint (op.cit.), p. 9.
Testing in more subjects: The Blueprint A Blueprint for Reform: The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. United States Department of Education March 2010; Education and the Language Gap: Secretary Arne Duncan's Remarks at the Foreign Language Summit,":
Zero evidence it will work: 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/. Additional evidence in Krashen, S. NUT: No Unnecessary Testing. http://sdkrashen.com/index.php?cat=4