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

Friday, April 10, 2015

No need to test every student

Sent to the Los Angeles Times, April 10, 2015

I do not share the Times' cheerful interpretation of the Alexander-Murray compromise for the new education law ("A new No Child Left Behind," April 10).  As long as schools continue annual high-stakes testing for every student in grades 3-8 (and once in high school), the "fretful anxiety and teach to the test mentality" will remain.  The huge cost of testing will also remain, and will increase now that testing is done online. 

There is no need to test every student. We can get the same information from low-pressure testing of small samples of students, each student taking only a part of the test, and extrapolating the results to larger groups.  This will save money, reduce anxiety, and give teachers more time to teach.

When you go to the doctor, they don't take all your blood. They only take a sample.

Stephen Krashen

Original article: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-no-child-left-behind-20150408-story.html.
On line title of article: No Child Left Behind overhaul should keep states accountable

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