wasting bandwidth since 1999

Tag: standardized testing (Page 1 of 13)

Pandemic Schooling’s Second Worst Idea

Mass testing

If “concurrent” schooling is the worst idea to be produced during the pandemic (and it is), a close second are all the proposals (starting with the Biden administration) to resume standardized testing this spring.

In the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog Wayne Au, a professor in the School of Educational Studies at the University of Washington at Bothell and an editor for the social justice magazine Rethinking Schools, explains why.

Continue reading

Fixing Four Years of Damage is Just a Start

Breakdown

In a recent post for the Class Struggle blog, the state superintendent of public instruction for Washington State has ten suggestions for a potential Biden/Harris1 administration “to undo the damage Betsy DeVos did to public education”.

He gets off to a great start with “Grant a national waiver of all federally mandated tests required under the Every Student Succeeds Act until Congress has an opportunity to amend the law.”.

Continue reading

Time To Set New Priorities

screenshot of online classroom

Almost from the start of the chaotic, but necessary, shift to online schooling last spring, articles started appearing about the amount of learning that students were going to miss. Including several studies claiming to “estimate the size of the learning loss students have experienced under such conditions”, although they didn’t make clear where researchers obtained meaningful data to arrive at their conclusions.

As students head back to school, still mostly online, we have even more stories about students falling behind, including one British study predicting that “lost school time will hurt economy for 65 years”. Again with few details about how they obtained their “huge base of evidence”.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind while reading these reports.

Continue reading

Yes, Joe, Please Do Give Up On Standardized Testing. And Charters.

Electric Fence

One more bit of education-related bad commentary from The Washington Post, and then I’ll give up on this topic for a while.1

This particular column comes from executives at a “nonprofit working with education organizations”, which is another way of saying consulting firm in these parts. They’ve been given this space to explain “why Joe Biden shouldn’t give up on public charter schools or standardized testing”.

Continue reading

Wasted Space

Exam

There are many things I don’t understand about the writing of Jay Mathews, former chief education writer for the Washington Post and current weekly columnist. Mostly why the paper continues to waste valuable newsprint on his work.

His column from last Monday is a good example.

Mathews begins by condemning the decline in the number of states that require students to pass one or more standardized tests in order to graduate. He says this a “national movement led by educators, parents and legislators”, calling it a “breathtaking turnabout, but without much celebrating”. Because polls related to public perception of school quality have not changed in five years?

He continues by complaining about “creative programs to boost achievement” being used by some states. Mathews says, those efforts are “failing miserably”, according to a report by “45 experts (including many teachers) who peered deeply into the state plans required by the new law”.

After spending the first half of the piece trying to make the case that the lack of standardized testing is hurting schools and students (with his usual lack of evidence), Mathews actually writes a statement that makes sense.

The rash of standardized testing after the No Child Left Behind Act became law in the early 2000s did not raise achievement averages very much, but the Collaborative for Student Success study indicates that reducing exit tests is not likely to bring much improvement, either.

So, maybe the focus of Mathews column should have been on alternatives to standardized testing, which he admits don’t seem to make any difference.

Anyway, this mess ends with some additional odd and unsupported statements, including his usual plug for the Advance Placement program. Which, of course, is another standardized testing program, one run by colleges rather than states.

We love making schools more accountable. Then, we hate the idea. This new decline of exit tests will almost certainly be followed by another burst of outrage and a renewed campaign to raise achievement.

Fortunately, our schools are still attracting many energetic and creative teachers who want to make a difference. As always, that will be what saves us.

Does he understand that the excess of standardized testing has been driving “energetic and creative teachers” out of the classroom for a decade or more?

And why is this crap allowed to appear in a major national newspaper?


Image: Exam by Alberto G. on Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

« Older posts

© 2021 Assorted Stuff

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑