Sent to the Los Angeles Times, July 15
“… the relentless emphasis on covering tested material” with the resulting de-emphasis on creative and critical thinking, so necessary in today’s world (“Education's pendulum: Thinkers or test takers?, July 15), is going to get worse.
The reaction of the US Department of Education to the excessive testing demanded by No Child Left Behind is to do it harder: Test more grade levels, more subjects, and add interim tests. There may even be pre-tests in the fall.
More grade levels to be tested:
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