Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Heart of Our Testing Disagreement - Bridging Differences - Education Week

The Heart of Our Testing Disagreement - Bridging Differences - Education Week:

The Heart of Our Testing Disagreement

Dear Eric,

I think you you've picked the heart of our disagreement, or maybe I should say the "brain" since heart seems wishy-washy!

I might never have changed my views if I hadn't had the experiences I did—from going into the classroom to having a son who had trouble with testing, and had it not been for those interviews I did of 2nd and 3rd graders. With those experiences behind me, and having had access—as teachers no longer do—to the manuals that used to go with the exams to explain them to teachers, and to some ETS test experts who agreed with me, and all the subsequent work I've engaged in, I was forced to change my mind.

My prejudices in favor of standardized tests included my own high test scores and the fact that it went along—historically—with the progressive education movement. Maybe more so its "administrative" wing, but I think even Dewey saw them as a potentially useful ally to progressive schooling. I need to look into that. Maybe you know the answer?

It's not "ultimately" that we simply differ on the "weights" given.

1. Whether scores rise or fall wouldn't influence me because I think they are phony measures. If I thought we