Tuesday, March 10, 2015

More testing, less testing or the right kind of testing?

"But Rep. Ken Yonker, R-Caledonia, said he thinks the state has to do an evaluation at thekindergarten entry level. He said he does not support excessive testing, and once the state gets its standardized testing finalized, districts should be able to eliminate some of the testing at various grade levels to determine progress." ~ The Grand Rapids Press, 3.10.15
This illustrates one of the problems with non-educators making decisions and running the K-12 system from within the state capitol. Rep. Yonkers for instance proposes that schools eliminate some of the most valuable kind of classroom assessments that provide teachers timely feedback on how individually and collectively, their students are doing. Why? So he and other elected officials can simply add more state-wide, high-stakes testing to the mix.
This nation already spends nearly $2 billion per year on annual testing according to Matthew Chingos of the Brookings Institute. That's similar to the cost of providing a year's worth of education to more than 200,000 students based on Michigan's average per-pupil cost. Is it really worth it?