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

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What should replace the STARR test? Nothing.

Sent to the Austin-American Statesman,. Feb 10.

Are those charged with deciding on a new test ("What should replace the STARR test?" Feb. 10) aware of research suggesting that teacher evaluations of students (grades) are an excellent measure of student achievement: high school grades in college prep courses are a very good predictor of college success. Standardized test scores (the SAT) do not provide much more information than grades alone.
There are good reasons to think teacher evaluation of students is better than a standardized test. The repeated judgments of professionals who are with students every day is probably more valid than a test created by distant strangers and given only once. Moreover, teacher evaluations of students are “multiple measures," done by different teachers in different subjects in different years, are closely aligned to the curriculum, and cover all subjects.
Any test proposed must be shown to do a better job than grades alone.

Original article: https://shar.es/146IQY

Note (from Wikipedia): The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, commonly referred to as its acronym STAAR (star), are a series of state-mandated standardized tests used in Texas public primary and secondary schools to assess a student's achievements and knowledge learned in the grade level. It tests curriculum taught from the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, which in turn is taught by public schools. The test is developed by Pearson Education every school year, along with the close supervision of the Texas Education Agency.

Bowen, W., Chingos, M., and McPherson, M. 2009. Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America's Universities. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Geiser, S. and Santelices, M.V., 2007. Validity of high-school grades in predicting student success beyond the freshman year: High-school record vs. standardized tests as indicators of four-year college outcomes. Research and Occasional Papers Series: CSHE 6.07, University of California, Berkeley. http://cshe.berkeley.edu

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