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

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

smoother boondoggle?

Sent to Education Week, October 8, 2013

Three scholars have recommended testing students only every few years, and using "higher-quality assessments that encourage more productive teaching" rather than current multiple-choice tests. ("Fewer, Better Tests Can Boost Student Achievement," October 9).
They note that these tests can be used without spending more money than we are spending now on testing. 

Phrased another way, they are saying that the new tests will cost just as much as we are spending now, which is a lot, and that the cost will continue to grow. We will still be spending millions on tests, and billions more to administer them online, with costs increasing as equipment is replaced and technology "advances."

The bottom line is that the situation will remain the same – a huge bleeding of funds, all going to the testing and computer companies.  BUT THIS TIME IT WILL BE MORE APPEALING TO THE PUBLIC, because the tests are supposedly better and students don't have to take them as often.

Before doing any of this, it has be shown that it is necessary to test every student. We already have the NAEP, given to samples of students, and considered the gold standard.

And if the case is made that we need to test every student, it must be shown that the new tests are indeed higher-quality through careful testing on small groups. They must be shown to have predictive validity, that they lead to greater  and longer-lasting academic achievement. This is hard to do when your goal is to make a quick buck.

Stephen Krashen

original article: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/10/09/07tucker.h33.html?tkn=OTCCtP%2FAeZ4THqI17cvTqiy3skiFjTb04rmB&cmp=clp-sb-ascd

this letter posted at: http://skrashen.blogspot.com/2013/10/just-smoother-boondoggle.html

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