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

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Trust Teachers

Sent to the Washington Post, Jan 14.
A new proposal for the revision of the federal education law calls for annual testing to see how students are progressing, to allow teachers "to diagnose and help their students." ("AFT backs annual testing, with an asterisk," Jan 14).
The proposal is saying, in other words, that teacher evaluations of students means nothing: We should value scores on a single test constructed by distant strangers more than the judgments of professionals who work with students every day.
Those who place high value on standardized test results should trust the competence of American teachers: when researchers control for the effects of poverty, American students rank at the top of the world on international tests.
Keeping annual standardized testing has one major advantage over relying on teacher judgments: It is expensive, and computer and testing companies can continue to make good profits.
Stephen Krashen

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