Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Stop Testing Simply for Testing's Sake

Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act: Time to Move Beyond Test-Focused Policies | National Education Policy Center

"We stress here that tests are useful when applied to their intended purposes and when there is legitimate evidence to support those purposes. Although measuring outcomes does not directly enrich learning, our schools do need disaggregated and useful information about how schools are serving students. This is an important part of a healthy evaluative feedback loop. The problem is not in the measurements; it is in the fetishizing of those measurements. It is in the belief that measurements will magically drive improvements in teaching and learning. It is in the use of test scores to issue facile admonishments: try harder! teach smarter! retain the child in third grade! reconstitute the school staff! It is in the singular focus on achievement outcomes to the exclusion of focusing on children’s opportunities to learn or on the system’s needs."