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

Friday, July 06, 2012

The Astonishing Increase in Testing

Sent to the New York Times, July 6, 2012

There is little reason to celebrate waivers from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) (“No Child’ Law Whittled Down by White House,” July 6).
NCLB’s “obsessive focus on test results” will be much worse under new regulations: The new Common Core Standards calls for an astonishing increase in testing.
NCLB requires standardized tests in math and reading at the end of the school year in grades 3-8 and once in high school. This will be expanded to testing in more subjects (social studies, science and maybe more), and in more grade levels. There will also be interim tests given during 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, more testing than has ever been seen on this planet.
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.

Stephen Krashen


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,":

No 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
Original article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/06/education/no-child-left-behind-whittled-down-under-obama.html?pagewanted=all

1 comment:

  1. Surely to ensure that no child is left behind we must first of all make sure all children are grasping the basics of numeracy and linguistic skills.

    To do that all or at least some teachers must be aware of the different styles of thinking and how to use these styles to allow the child to understand the material being presented.

    As early education used to be male dominated it stands to reason that system would Left Brain dominant producing Left Brain successes which would then enter the system as a career which then perpetuates it.

    But 'straight line' thinking doesn't suit all of us. Creative i.e. Right Brain thinkers can often become bored, not to mention thoroughly confused with the 'mechanical' Left Brain system and they can easily fall behind, appearing dumb.

    Too many Left Brain teachers can't see the genius lurking beyond the inability to spell or remember tables and it is often lost to the education system and society as a whole.

    Richard Branson of Virgin Airways fame is one such example. He was lucky enough to find refuge in business but only because people around him saved his confidence and self esteem from falling through the floor.

    Solution: Wholebrain Learning Techniques aka Accelerated learning which use the young student's more powerful Right Brain to help out his underdeveloped Left Brain.

    Read my blog: http://the-edinburgh-techniques.blogspot.com/ or go to my website:

    www.edinburghtechniques.co.uk to see simple techniques which will truly surprise you e.g. the Internal Eyescan which has 7 year old dyslexics spelling PSYCHIATRIST forwards and backwards in the first sessions....backwards strengthens the visual pathways, it's not learned they can just do it.

    Psychiatrist because it demonstrates the power of the technique and gives the young student a visible and instant confidence boost.