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View Diary: Florida mother has to prove her dying son can't take a standardized test (169 comments)

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  •  I agree (4+ / 0-)
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    MKSinSA, DFWmom, kyril, happymisanthropy

    I characterize the answers for the reading tests as 70%, 80%, 90%, and 100% "correct" based on some particular combination of reading comprehension, experience, prior knowledge of whatever the subject is, etc.

    A lot of the questions use value judgement keywords like "most likely".

    Multiple-choice questions for reading comprehension seems like a cop-out anyway. Shouldn't one expect the answers to be in written for? But then, they couldn't use computers to score the answers. They would have to actually hire someone skilled enough to make the evaluation... like a well-paid teacher. Definitely not their goal.

    The United States for All Americans

    by TakeSake on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 02:22:32 PM PST

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    •  Using a multiple choice (6+ / 0-)

      standardized test to measure reading comprehension is like trying to use a ruler to measure how much you weigh - the wrong instrument for the job. And using a standardized test to measure comprehension of poetry?  Well, that just reminds me of a scene from Dead Poets Society - the one where Robin Williams discusses a textbook page that purports to measure the value of a work of literature by mathematical formula -- I like Byron but you can't dance to him -- I give him a 42...

      Begone, J. Evans Pritchard!

      "You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best you have to give." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

      by marylrgn on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 03:15:18 PM PST

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      •  Exactly (8+ / 0-)
        Using a multiple choice (0+ / 0-)

        standardized test to measure reading comprehension is like trying to use a ruler to measure how much you weigh - the wrong instrument for the job. And using a standardized test to measure comprehension of poetry?


        This is one thing that concerns me about all the emphasis on STEM education.

        We don't seem to understand that not everything breaks down into an A or B answer.

        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 03:29:16 PM PST

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        •  corporations like A or B answers (6+ / 0-)

          in my work experience, its been corporate types that want the A or B answer. They don't wan't the in depth analysis or substantiation of judgement - they want the executive summary, the bullet points or the slide-ware version.

          It's the fixation on a short term, quick, easy answer.

          I'm cynical about school. I'd like to think it exists to teach kids how to think and learn. I know there are teachers who manage to do this and I treasure them.

          In Alfie Kohn's essay The 500-Pound Gorilla, he points out that school is increasingly portrayed as a way to bolster our economic system (and as a by-product the interests of those invested in it) instead of a way to strengthen democracy. The essay details how education is being co-opted by the corporate class to groom future employees, market to young consumers, and as a profit center.

          Standardized tests used as a tool to threaten and punish school administrators and teachers who don't toe the corporate line would just be par for the course.

          "Health is the greatest gift, contentment is the greatest wealth." Dh. v. 204

          by kilesa on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 04:29:41 PM PST

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          •  Many working class humans are close enough to the (0+ / 0-)

            line that they are more interested in a place to sleep at night, 3 square meals a day, help in getting over obvious illnesses, and something to cover their nakedness than democracy or DEMOCRACY.  And they NEED a job or more likely 3 half-time minimum wage jobs to scrape up the money to pay for those bare necessities, so they need to be able to suck up to the boss well enough to land a job or mre likely 3 half-time minimum wage jobs.

        •  Much of stem subjects does break down to questions (0+ / 0-)

          that can be answered with one of the choices of a multiple choice question, which makes STEM subjects MUCH EASIER to write standardized tests for.

      •  As a remedial reading teacher (in a University) I (7+ / 0-)

        once took a Jr. level Physics test to prove a point about multiple choice tests. I've never studied Physics and barely know what it's about. I forget my exact score, but I would have gotten a B on the test, and the teacher couldn't believe that I didn't even understand most of the questions. I just "test well" and have been able to teach
        others to do the same. It's nuts to make judgments about either teacher or student abilities/achievements based merely on Standardized tests.  

        •  Mine was an Educational Psychology test (1+ / 0-)
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          I got the top grade in the class.  My professor was not pleased when I informed him (in front of the class) that my grade was due to the fact I read faster than average.

          •  I practiced my Ed Psych testing on my kids. (0+ / 0-)

            Managed to raise the IQ on one of them almost 10 points by asking 1 question - how many pints in 2 quarts? Brilliant first grader answered correctly. I finished and asked him how he knew that info. His teacher had just happened to mention it in passing that day and it caught his imagination.
            Smart kid and now a Dr., but not THAT smart!

    •  When I was in grade school, I assumed that any (1+ / 0-)
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      question in the literary reading comprehension  sub test were vocabulary questions unless pretty definitely shown otherwise, especially if the passage was in verse rather than prose.  I also hated poetry at that time, because the capital letter at the start of each line was too easily confused with the capital letter at the beginning of each sentence. So I found most verse unintelligible--that and the singsong effect of the teacher overemphasizing the meter.

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