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View Diary: Investigation shows questionable test results under Michelle Rhee (290 comments)

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  •  On a standardized, timed test (6+ / 0-)

    My experience is that a child who does well is indeed demonstrating some mastery of the concepts, but they don't tell you much about a child who does not do well.

    I have seen:
    1. Kids who have no clue about the concept
    2. Kids who can do the work but not under time pressure
    3. Kids who can't handle not having scratch paper
    4. Kids who get stressed about the whole idea of the test
    5. Kids who make silly mistakes - ie the method is correct, but under pressure they write 2x3 as 5 and miss the whole problem.

    Any test where time is a factor also benefits kids who learn the tricks of eliminating wrong answers, such that it's possible to guess a problem without actually working it, which gives them a time advantage.

    I'm someone who has always tested well, and this has saved my bacon a few times. But, while my SAT scores were 98th percentile, kids in my classes who were also getting A's on classwork and in-class tests tested out at the 50th percentile and even lower, and this is on the SAT math, where the actual math required is well below the precalculus we were all taking.

    So, what I see is that low scores on these tests are not necessarily showing poor scholarship. If that's true, then judging teachers on these results is even less useful.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Mon Mar 28, 2011 at 11:37:34 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  In addition, for math (6+ / 0-)

      the math exams require a pretty significant fluency with english for a student to do well. So a student who can do arithmetic with fluency may not be able to decipher the english directions or english word problems if they are not very capable with language. They get a terrible math score, but the math may not actually be the problem.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Mar 28, 2011 at 11:39:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Parent in PA can preview the tests (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling, Turbonerd, caul

        so I did. The math word problems were awful. Some had no right answer. Some were so poorly worded that it would have been difficult, if not impossible for an adult to do them. And then the ELL still have to take the math tests, even when they don't have to take the reading ones.

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