Saturday, August 15, 2015

Just take a sample

Sent to the New York Times, August 15, 2015

The Times argues that "Opting Out of Standardized Tests Isn’t the Answer," (August 15) because we need accurate information about the achievement gap among various subgroups of students.

But we don't need to test every student every year to do this.

We can get the same information from low-pressure testing of small samples of students every few years, each student taking only a part of the test, and extrapolating the results to larger groups.  This will save taxpayers' money, reduce testing anxiety, and give teachers more time to teach.

When you go to the doctor, they don't take all your blood. They only take a sample.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

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