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Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:05 AM

why progressives should care about the backlash on standardized testing

http://www.nationofchange.org/why-progressives-should-care-about-backlash-standardized-testing-1358692861

Last week, celebrated statistics guru Nate Silver laid a bugger on advocates for test-driven education, the current policy fad that enamors Republicans and Democrats alike who fancy themselves as “education reformers.”

In an online conversation at the aggregator site Reddit, the man known for being the“Lord and God of Algorithms” was asked, “What are your thoughts on data-driven metrics for teacher evaluation? Do you think a system that accurately reflects teacher value could ever be created, or will it always be plagued by perverse incentives (teaching to the test, neglecting certain types of students, etc)?”

Silver replied, “There are certainly cases where applying objective measures badly is worse than not applying them at all, and education may well be one of those.”

Silver explained that it would take “a book- or thesis-length treatment to really evaluate properly”

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Reply why progressives should care about the backlash on standardized testing (Original post)
xchrom Jan 2013 OP
LineNew Reply
xchrom Jan 2013 #1
exboyfil Jan 2013 #2
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #5
exboyfil Jan 2013 #7
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #3
xchrom Jan 2013 #4
bemildred Jan 2013 #6

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:12 AM

1.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:14 AM

2. It does not impact my children anymore

but opting out in elementary school could be a dangerous move for parents. They use the tests, over my strong objections, for math placement. In particular PreAlgebra in 7th grade. I could not get my older daughter placed in PreAlgebra, and she had to skip PreAlgebra when she jumped to Algebra in 8th grade. She thinks she did miss something from this experience (hurt her on the ACT). Since she has gotten straight As and was able to skip PreCalculus and go straight to Calculus I as a junior (I orchestrated this on my own and paid for the class).

I could imagine that the tests would be used in other districts for placement in other subjects in 7th grade like Science and English.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:35 AM

5. But it impacts ALL of us.

When I go into that nursing home or hospital and am dependent on an educated worker caring for me, I want that worker to understand the difference between a milliliter and an ounce.

Good schools impact ALL of us.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:56 AM

7. I am all for good science education

I am very involved in my daughter's education. My point was that opting out would have had consequences for me at the time. I am mixed about standardized tests. I think one test per year is not unreasonable, but how the data is used should be considered (it should not be the first criteria for example).

I strongly support my local schools. My wife and I volunteer, get small gifts for our local teachers, and support reasoned bond issues for new construction. I have also homeschooled some subjects when I believed the local district was not doing a good job or what they offered did not meet my daughters' needs.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:24 AM

3. The summation

NCLB was originally sold to us as “progressive” legislation. Miraculously, now NCLB Waivers are being touted as “progressive” too.

Armed with the reams of testing data unleashed by metrics-driven school reform, progressives everywhere were going to have the information they needed to hold schools “accountable” for educating children, especially the least served.

Yet what we are seeing instead is a form of education that actually threatens students’ civil rights. Writing at the blogsite Daily Kos, education professor Sherman Dorn explained what test-driven education is resulting in:

“When schools with low academic achievement receive test-prep booklets, the cost of those purchases is stolen from instructional materials for the general curriculum. When children with low academic performance find their classroom time occupied by activities that mirror multiple-choice test formats, that is a denial of access to a broad curriculum. When teachers, aides, school counselors, and others spend hours in early spring drilling students on test-taking techniques, that is time that children are not reading, are not learning about math and science and history, and are not experiencing or creating art or music.”


Does that sound progressive to you?

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:32 AM

4. +1

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:46 AM

6. Standardized testing is inherently discriminatory in inappropriate ways.

Kids are not widgets.

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