"Technology can be an amazing thing for learning, but the way we’re looking at isn’t amazing at all,” Richardson said. “If all we’re doing is valuing test scores, then we’re just using technology to deliver the same traditional curriculum. We have to be thinking about what’s the goal of using technology. What do we want to have happen?"
Some fascinating testing possibilities with Common Core. Definitely worth a look.
I ended a previous SmartBlog post with this caution: “Remember that the day of any test, students work alone. Without us. They employ not what we have ‘taught’ but what they have ‘learned.’” In regards to computer-based testing, this is even more true.
Consider one fourth-grade example found in that SMARTER Balanced Zip file. In it a student is asked to read a bit of a story that contains only descriptions with no dialogue. The prompt states: “This is the beginning of a story written by a student who wants to add dialogue. Decide where the three pieces of dialogue should be placed. Click on them and move them into the correct order.” Then, the child must do just that. Instead of simply selecting from four multiple choices, a fourth-grader interacting with that prompt, drags several sentences containing dialogue around and around until they believe they are in the correct order. In another example, listed as eighth grade, a student is presented with a passage, then this prompt: “‘Joy Hakim, the author of this passage, admires Sojourner Truth. How can you tell that the above statement is true? Click on a sentence in the passage that could be used as evidence to support this statement.’” Then, again, instead of selecting one of four choices, a student could click on any sentence in the entire passage to back up that claim.
"A backlash against high-stakes standardized testing is sweeping through U.S. school districts as parents, teachers, and administrators protest that the exams are unfair, unreliable and unnecessarily punitive - and even some longtime advocates of testing call for changes. The objections come even as federal and state authorities pour hundreds of millions of dollars into developing new tests, including some for children as young as 5."
"If there is one student attitude that most all faculty bemoan, it is instrumentalism. This is the view that you go to college to get a degree to get a job to make money to be happy. Similarly, you take this course to meet this requirement, and you do coursework and read the material to pass the course to graduate to get the degree. Everything is a means to an end. Nothing is an end in itself. There is no higher purpose. When we tell students to study for the exam or, more to the point, to study so that they can do well on the exam, we powerfully reinforce that way of thinking. While faculty consistently complain about instrumentalism, our behavior and the entire system encourages and facilitates it."
Fearing that certain words and topics can make students feel unpleasant, officials are requesting 50 or so words be removed from city-issued tests.
The word “dinosaur” made the hit list because dinosaurs suggest evolution which creationists might not like, WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reported. “Halloween” is targeted because it suggests paganism; a “birthday” might not be happy to all because it isn’t celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
So this is really a religious issue, and not an educational one. I would think a tenet of most major religions would be tolerance of opposing viewpoints and philosophies.
Because what I hadn’t known—this is my first time grading this exam—was that it doesn’t matter how well you write, or what you think. Here we spent the year reading books and emulating great writers, constructing leads that would make everyone want to read our work, developing a voice that would engage our readers, using our imaginations to make our work unique and important, and, most of all, being honest. And none of that matters.
“The access of having a [mobile] device in your hand changes the way that classroom environment feels,” she says. “Students are walking around with the devices, doing things to get them out of the structured environment of the traditional school.”
And because students feel a sense of connection and ownership over their mobile devices, they feel “enabled to be part of the assessment process,” says Evans.
“We can give students some kind of thought question and look at the response they give and understand formatively where they are in their comprehension, and perhaps modify what comes next based on that kind of feedback,” Dede says. “It’s very rich feedback for students on how they’re doing and how to get better.”
I want to know how standardized testing has affected you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student, student teacher, K-12 or college educator. The link above will take you to an open Google Doc where you can share your thoughts. If enough responses come in, I’ll follow-up with some highlights in a day or two.
When students focus on tests, they are thinking about what they need to remember to get a good grade, he said. They are not taking the time to think about why they are learning this information, and why it is important in their life.
That’s the conclusion of a study of 5,000 students taking high school health classes. Students in classes where teachers emphasized the importance of learning information because it would be on the tests were less likely to actually develop healthy habits in their lives than those in classes where the teacher concentrated on the relevance of the information.
But let’s not worry about developing life-long learners — the state tests will be coming up in a few months….
A movement for students to opt out of standardized testing as a form of protest.
I’d prefer not to.
Confused on why anyone would support Standardized testing. A student future would not be at risk, to transform the system to something better. A large number of colleges, have opted out of standardized test like the SATs… and more and more are added every year.
Also, it is a right for most parents in a lot of states to opt out of the test. This is not about getting out of having to take a test, this is a call to action, a way to help stop the test, No child left behind has been a complete failure, by opting out you make it harder for test publishers to control teaching and learning. Money is behind testing, not learning.
You don’t have to support opting out, but I would highly recommend learning more about the movement and not dismiss it so easily.
A huge collective of teachers, community members and parents who were connected to the SOS march are campaigning around this issues and have collected a ton of resources to help parents and students opt out of the test. The Bartleby Project is just one place trying to help raise awareness of the issues of Standardized Testing and how it is affects teaching, learning and public funding of education.
-Adventures in Learning
Three part reply:
1: She’s referencing a line from Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville. Bartleby’s pseudo-catchphrase is “I’d prefer not to.” She’s being cheeky.
2: Not endorsing or supporting something like the Bartleby Project doesn’t mean you automatically support standardized testing. It isn’t one or the other. The world is gray, not black and white. You can just throw people in a box because you think they’re not behind a particular project.
3: There are too many problems with this idea to even cover here, not the least of which is that A) There are much better ways for students to go about this, and B) Like it or not, test results are currently tied to district funding. Want a student to sit out? That district will lose money. They lose money, they have to restrict or cut services even more. There are better ways to go about this. Why not rallies? Why not weekend protests? Why not petitions? Why not have the 16 and 17 year-olds write letters to their state reps and senators pledging to vote against any candidate in the future who wants to tie funding directly to these tests? See? Dozens of better ideas out there.