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.
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