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View Diary: Standardized Testing Wastes Much More Than Money (90 comments)

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  •  Again, you set up a false choice. (6+ / 0-)

    You assume first that everyone needs to be compared to each other by grades. Second, you assume that there has to be winners and losers. Is it not possible for everyone to receive an A? I guarantee that your statement may apply to some students but not to the vast majority. It will apply to those just like you who believe in the necessity of a stratified society, imposed upon members by a false standard. And standardized testing will surely make that even more of a reality than it is today. But you make another assumption, too. You assume that people who don't like standardized testing are against all testing. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We believe in authentic assessment that is tailored to the specific needs of the specific child. People such as myself know from professional experience that when there is a single test and/or a single set of standards it is damaging to the student and will ultimately prove to be damaging to the nation as a whole.

    Yours is a model built on extrinsic motivation. It will always have an artificial ceiling regarding student achievement. I am talking about a model built on intrinsic motivation, and in that model the sky is the limit.

    •  What does this even mean? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Linda Wood

      "We believe in authentic assessment that is tailored to the specific needs of the specific child. "

      Could you give an example. For instance, say we have a kid who never learned basic sentence structure such as verb and subject agreement.  

      How would we know this about such a child unless we tested?

      What I am asking is,  other than testing, how do we know what a child DOES NOT KNOW?

      •  Now you are on to something. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RuralLiberal, maf1029

        Let me repeat what has been said on this post over and over. Some clarification is sorely needed. Not all testing is bad. It is the standardized testing and the entire so-called standards movement that is the problem. The continuum has swung so far in favor of testing, testing and more testing (and that was one of the points of my original post), to become the greatest fraud in education. The question is not, "should teachers make all the choices?" It is, "Should teachers and students and parents make choices together about the child's learning?" The new Common Core which will be followed by the new Common Assessment (test) will assume that all second graders are equally capable, neither higher nor lower, than their peer group. That is counter to everything everyone knows about education. But the American School System is going forward with this anyway.

        But to answer your question. Authentic assessment will always assess what an individual student knows and can do in the context of the real world. No standardized test measures that because it begins with the assumption that they all need to know the same set of facts. Thus the test favors those students who are intrinsically motivated to learn that particular set of data, while penalizing those students who might be far more interested in other material--material that would be the springboard for deep and meaningful learning for them.

        People are not interchangeable like tires on a car or size 7 shoes. Standardized testing ignores the very thing that makes us human.

        •  Can you give an example or not. (0+ / 0-)

          For instance, is it up for debate what is the capital of a state.  Is there not a right and a wrong answer?  What context of the real world of any student can the answer  to such a question differ?

          Is it too much to ask that this be learned?

          •  Again... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RuralLiberal

            nobody is arguing that kind of point. I will speak more firmly this time. The discussion is about the standardized tests that are imposed from the top down. But I will indulge you...A much more appropriate assessment than your example would be to begin by understanding that not all kids need to know this answer at the same time of their lives. And again to your assumptions: you assume that if a child can identify that Boise is the capital of Idaho, it actually means anything to him. It may or it may not, but being able to answer that question on any assessment, disconnected from some meaningful experience, means nothing more than a tidbit of information. So for a meaningful assessment--begin with the concept of state capitals. What are they? Why do they exist? How were they chosen? Why one city over another? For older students: Why do we have central governments? What is a Republic? Go to the capital and witness legislatures in action. Without any of the rest, naming Boise is irrelevant.

            My questions above are much more appropriate than simply naming the city.  Yet, these are not the kinds of questions that can be given on a standardized test because there is an infinite number of good and great answers. While your example is a fine example of low-level thinking skills requiring nothing more than application of short-term memory skills, that is not really a very valued skill in this world.

            •  You proved my point. (0+ / 0-)

              You are against testing, but every example you give elaborating the "Boise, Idaho" can be put in the form of a standardized test to give feedback to the child, teacher and parent, and thereby reinforce what was taught.

              A standardized test can be formulate to pinpoint what of the answers to the questions you exampled, reached through to the students, and, if and when a student is ready to move on to more detail(not just being older students).

              As a concerned parent, I am even more convinced that instant computerized standardized tests should be used after every lesson to quickly give feedback to students, teachers and parents alike and the results automatically used to personalize the learning experience, while making the experience more engaging and enjoyable for students, and more rewarding for teachers.

              You are wrong on standardized testing talktothemike.  

              Try to embrace technology.  It is your friend.

              •  IT Pro. (0+ / 0-)

                The beauty of our nation is that you get to say things that you know nothing about. Numerous people have tried to educate you about the various dangers of standardized testing on this particular strand. You have simply chosen to believe that they are all wrong. Can you define learning? Can you define what developmental stages children go through? Have you done any studey of brain research as it applies to education? Have you spent 20+ years in the classroom? Have you read anything about the real problems in American schools? Are you aware of the number of students in poverty educated in American schools?

                •  I am not a casual observer of the testing trend (0+ / 0-)

                  I am a very involved parent.  You seem to believe that your opinions must  be dictated and others must just shut up and be "educated" by you.

                  Facts and the real world experiences of others are summarily dismissed by you, in the most insulting and condescending way, especially when you realize you may be wrong.  

                  If you were a teacher, I would imagine your students too afraid to think for themselves.  You probably treat your students with the same disrespect you have shown me here.

                   As a result they probably fared very poorly on standardized tests.  I believe this is the reason you want to get rid of testing.

                  Testing probably proves you have been an ineffective teacher.

                  There is a good chance it is people like you that need to be removed from the profession.

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