Tuesday, January 14, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: More Proof The Big Standardized Tests Mean Diddly-Squat

CURMUDGUCATION: More Proof The Big Standardized Tests Mean Diddly-Squat

More Proof The Big Standardized Tests Mean Diddly-Squat


Chad Aldeman (Bellwether Education Partners) wants us to take heart. He's over at The 74 (Campbell Brown's House of Reform Advocacy) arguing that although reformsters are writing off the last ten years as a "lost decade" there was actually some good news-- while "educational achievement" (by which Aldeman actually means "standardized test scores") remained stagnant, college attainment has been on the rise.

Well, that's a puzzler. Adelman suggests that you might explain the incongruity by claiming that colleges and high schools just lowered their standards. But he thinks the attainment rates deserve attention.

One reason is that it’s much easier to gauge attainment than achievement. Measuring attainment is as simple as asking adults what their highest level of education is, whereas measuring achievement involves a complex process of defining what people at various ages should know and be able to do, developing a tool to measure those skills, sampling the given population and then translating the sample results into larger estimates.

Well, yes. That second thing, the measuring achievement is hard, so hard I would argue (as I have for forever) that we can't actually do it, but in the education disruptor's desire to have such a tool, we've just rushed a couple of bad proxies to market and continued to pretend that they measure what they don't.


We already know that the NAEP is not actually a "gold standard" for measuring educational achievement. And the PARCC, SBA, and all their sad CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: More Proof The Big Standardized Tests Mean Diddly-Squat


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