Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Published 9:30 AM by with 0 comment

Standardized Testing: Does it really determine what students know?

As a teacher, when we come into the profession we are told that standardized testing will be tied into our job performance. I have always had the question in the back of my mind, "does a test at the end of the year determine what a student actually has learned and knows?". Students and teachers spend significantly more time on school district-required tests, as opposed to federal and state mandated tests that often elicit cries of a fixation on rating and ranking school children, according to a new study from Teach Plus.

The study, released Wednesday, is the first to measure the time students spend taking tests, and the time teachers spend administering those tests. At the same time, the researchers also polled teachers on how test preparation affects instruction time, finding a much higher impact in younger grades. The researchers found that on average, students spend less than 2 percent of the school year on state and district tests for English and math, although the time was significantly less for kindergartners.

Some education advocates have argued that the emphasis on school accountability in the form of testing, first widely popularized under the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law, has been the downfall of both teachers and students. I, for one, have seen the loss of great teachers due to the constraints to perform well on these exams. It causes quick burn out and test anxiety among students to do well.

In some cases these test do not accurately test what has been taught all year. They are almost cramming everything learned in a year in a week long test. This is the same thing with most placement and entrance exams. It is all designed to test what a student may have learned but in a lot of urban settings many students are not exposed to such high level learning... that could be because of several other factors. Lack of resources, teacher turn around, and overall lack of knowledge.

So what say you, should a standardized test, placement test, any test determine what a student really knows….?

You be the judge….

Until The NEXT


Post a Comment