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Author Topic: When will the testing bubble burst?
philnotfil
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washingtonpost.com

Some interesting discussion of bubbles, looking at what preceded the Great Depression, and the 2008 crash, and then evaluating the testing market using the principles of bubbles highlighted in that discussion.

Links rebutting claims of benefits from testing (Exit exams ensure high school diplomas “mean something.”, Testing makes us competitive in the global economy, Testing helps us close the achievement gap)

Great quote on global competitiveness:
quote:
Furthermore, as Stephen Krashen reminds us:

“The core issue remains U.S. [student] performance on international tests and the studies relevant to the discussion are those showing the huge impact of poverty on these tests. When we consider children who do not live in poverty and who attend well-funded schools, U.S. test scores are at the top of the world. Our ‘low’ (actually mediocre) scores are because we have so many children living in poverty, more than all other industrialized countries.”

The closing:
quote:
As Upton Sinclair once said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” And some people have convinced themselves that improving test scores is a meaningful goal --- even a moral imperative.

But moralistic proclamations notwithstanding, high stakes tests thus far have yielded few if any of the benefits we have been promised. They have not significantly budged the achievement gap - and in many ways have widened it. They have not made us more competitive, or prepared students better for college - as the rising number of students who need remediation indicates. They do not allow us to accurately identify the best or worst teachers, and when used for this purpose are likely to lower the quality of instruction, rather than raise it, by forcing teachers to focus on test preparation.

Parents have begun to join teachers in calling out this charade. The testing bubble relies on most us believing that the scores offer real value, and can deliver even more if we just invest more money and importance in them. This town hall meeting in Florida gave Rep. Ted Deutch and Department of Education official Michael Yudin a taste of the skepticism that signals the beginning of the end for this bubble. When more superintendents join Texan John Kuhn in speaking out, more holes will appear in the bubble.

I went to the effort of linking the John Kuhn interview linked in the article because you should read it when you are done with this article.
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LetterRip
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As stated elsewhere, the ability of the teacher can have about two grade levels of learning per year impact on a student. Poverty definitely has an impact, but so does the teacher, so do parents.

It is true that high stakes tests aren't accomplishing much yet.

1) They have been largely misdesigned
2) The remedy's being used/proposed are wrong

So redesign the tests and redesign the remedy's.

Note that we discussed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation research - they are in the process of developing more meaningful testing and evaluation and more meaningful remedy's.

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ken_in_sc
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People come into the world the natural way. Just like eggs, milk, and cheese, they are natural products. The only way to to get a dozen grade A eggs is to separate out the grade Bs and Cs. Until we are willing to admit this fact, we are going to have this problem. Grade Bs and Cs have a place in the world--for eggs it is in cake and pancake mixes. For people, not everyone can be on the top shelf. Sorry.
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LetterRip
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ken_in_sc,

not everyone can be Einstein, but most of the population can do drastically better than present.

Most students are nowhere close to their organic learning limitations.

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