Thursday, May 16, 2019

CURMUDGUCATION: Why The Big Standardized Test Is Useless For Teachers

CURMUDGUCATION: Why The Big Standardized Test Is Useless For Teachers

Why The Big Standardized Test Is Useless For Teachers
In schools throughout the country, it is testing season--time for students to take the Big Standardized Test (the PARCC, SBA, or your state's alternative). This ritual really blossomed way back in the days of No Child Left Behind, but after all these years, teachers are mostly unexcited about it. There are many problems with the testing regimen, but a big issue for classroom teachers is that the tests do not help the teacher do her job.
Folks outside of schools often imagine that one of the benefits of the test is to check to see how students are doing and adjust instruction accordingly. Unfortunately, the tests provide no such benefit.
First, the timing does not serve that purpose. Tests are being given now, close to the end of the year. By the time test score come back, these students will be in a different teacher’s classroom. There will be zero opportunity for a teacher to say, “Okay, these students are having trouble with fractions, so I’d better review that unit and add some extra instruction on the subject.” Those students are gone. New students arrive with their own test scores, but their new teachers have no first-hand knowledge of how instruction went last year.
But that’s not the worst of it. Even if the tests were great (that's a discussion for another day) and the results came back instantaneously, they would still be of little use for informing instruction.
Imagine that you are a basketball coach, tasked with training your team for great things. Imagine CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: Why The Big Standardized Test Is Useless For Teachers

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