Testing Talk

Technology Connection's Tim Furman went to and uploaded video from last night's RHY session on testing, which featured teachers from public and private schools talking about testing.  I'm not sure I agree with all of Furman's conclusions but that's not really the point.  Click below for Tim's description and some video.

"Two of the panelists--- Chanti Elliot of Francis Parker (private), and Madeline Kobayashi of Rogers Elementary (public) spoke in succession... I've been writing about these things for a full year now, and I have more to say, but to hear these two women speak on the same panel---well, you'll see for yourself. I'll just say it was an honor to be in the same room with both of them." (see full post here)

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  • As somebody on the outside of the daily educational world, I have always been amazed at the schizophrenic relationship between educators and the notion of testing, measuring progress....It seems that it is villified as somehow unfair to the students, while at the same time being considered biased against the teachers, and the institutions themselves. On one hand, the notion of testing is considered "BAD!", but yet our entire society is more anchored in testing-even well beyond school years- than ever previously....For example, I was actually asked to complete a series of computer tests and questionnaires for a job waiting tables in a family style (not luxury) restaurant. At some point, we have to acknowledge that part of the learning experience itself, is learning how to cope with tests and testing situations successfully, as it doesn't appear that testing is just going to magically go away. In fact, it seems that testing will be used to justify needs for extra funding, extra staffing, extra materials, extra expenditures on all levels, but yet we aren't supposed to be artificially measuring and quantifying what the students actually learn or the environment in which they learn it....Are testing controversies merely a political football to be used to advantage without assessing the necessary measures of progress? The end result seems to be students that are underserved, because nobody actually can determine the areas of weakness without a quantitative measure that includes individual student performance, and group averages. This is a genuine question which has bothered me for a long time. Have we become so holisitic in our educational approach, so focused on the individual, that we have lost sight of the basic needs to survive and support oneself in the world outside of school and education?

  • Dear Sue

    the only thing a test measures is the person that wrote the test.
    In education today the bean counters are taking over administration.
    While these people are very well trained few of them are educated.
    which i define as the ability to think.
    Today we ask a kid to regurgitate the right answer from a provided
    list of four possibilities.for example:

    Where did the Mayflower land. A Virginia
    B New York
    C Florida
    D None of the above.
    Why not ask this?

    How would the history of
    North America been different if the Mayflower landed
    in San Francisco?

  • Sue: There's a good chapter about standardized testing in this book: The Good School.
    http://www.pegtyre.com/good-school.php

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