Monday, December 19, 2016

The new standardized testing craze to hit public schools - The Washington Post

The new standardized testing craze to hit public schools - The Washington Post:

The new standardized testing craze to hit public schools

Last year, the Obama administration conceded that U.S. public school students were taking too many standardized tests, this after after a revolt among students, parents and teachers, and after a two-year study found that there was no evidence that adding testing time improves student achievement. But if you thought that the administration’s admission meant that the problem was on its way to being resolved, guess again.
Today the rise of online or computer-based testing threatens  to reverse whatever progress has been made in reducing the number of tests in the last year. The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, known as FairTest, a non-profit organization that works to end the abuse and misuse of standardized tests, has put out a new fact sheet about this program, which says in part:
Education policymakers and technology providers have joined forces to accelerate a longtime push for “test data-driven” education interventions. Both sectors look to computer-based curricula and data collected with online tests to control classrooms and define educational outcomes.
Though couched in humanistic language about “personalization,” such a transformation is leading to even more frequent standardized testing. This narrows and dumbs down instruction to what low-level tests can measure, depresses student engagement, and produces inaccurate indicators of learning.
Here’s a piece on this trend, by Lisa Guisbond, a testing reform analyst at FairTest.

By Lisa Guisbond
Long Island parent Jeanette Deutermann is only half-joking when she says she should give a Christmas gift to her son’s school computer this year instead of the teacher. She sees the way computer-based curriculum-plus-testing packages have taken control of her son’s classroom, and she doesn’t like it.
Deutermann has been a leader in New York State’s unprecedented opt-out movement. Now she is calling out the latest damaging twist in education reformers’ efforts to fatten the pig by weighing it even more often.
Deutermann’s fifth-grade son and his classmates are among those on the edge of this craze, now that their school has adopted a product called i-Ready. She’s alarmed that her son gets The new standardized testing craze to hit public schools - The Washington Post:

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