Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How much standardized testing do we need? Probably not much.

Sent to US News, Oct. 28

The sudden realization that there is too much testing going on in the US has led to suggestions that we start all over again, and this time get it right – design "fewer, better tests."  ("Coalition wants new school accountability," Oct. 28).  In doing so, let us consider the research that suggests that teacher evaluation of students (grades) does a better job of evaluating students than standardized testing does: The repeated judgments of professionals who are with students every day is more valid that a test created by distant strangers. Moreover, teacher evaluations are “multiple measures,” are closely aligned to the curriculum, and cover a variety of subjects.
There is evidence supporting this view. Studies show that adding adding SAT scores to high school students grades in college prep courses did not provide much more information than grades alone, which suggests that we may not need standardized tests at all.
If we want tests in order to compare student achievement over time and to compare subgroups of students, we already have an instrument for this, the NAEP.
The NAEP is administered to small groups who each take a portion of the test every few years. Results are extrapolated to estimate how the larger groups would score. Our efforts should be to improve the NAEP, not start all over again, and go through years expensive fine-tuning with new instruments.
We need not test every student in every subject every year. When you get a physical, they don't take all your blood, they only take a sample.
Stephen Krashen

original article: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/10/28/teachers-unions-education-advocacy-groups-call-for-new-accountability-system

Bowen, W., Chingos, M., and McPherson, M. 2009. Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America's Universities. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Geiser, S. and Santelices, M.V., 2007. Validity of high-school grades in predicting student success beyond the freshman year: High-school record vs. standardized tests as indicators of four-year college outcomes. Research and Occasional Papers Series: CSHE 6.07, University of California, Berkeley. http://cshe.berkeley.edu

No comments:

Post a Comment