Saturday, April 18, 2015

Common Core - Yes; SBAC testing - No

I've said this before, probably many many times, but it's worth saying again because things are starting to happen.
The Common Core is great. In mathematics, the CCSSM clearly identify the math that students should be expected to learn in each grade level. What is not good are the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium standardized, computer-based tests that students are expected to take starting in third grade. Having just watched four third grade teachers and their students suffer through these anachronistic evaluation devices (they are clearly not assessments)  I think it's time for parents and teachers and everyone involved in Education to say enough is enough. American students are still the most tested and the least examined.

More and more people are beginning to boycott the tests or opt out such as these students. There is also a growing body of evidence that suggests that the PISA test scores that consistently show the US at a lower ranking than most would like are not a true reflection of the quality of education in American schools. More and more research, and opinion papers by scholars such as this one in the Guardian, are casting doubt upon the authenticity of comparing tests in cultures that are so different. The most odious interpretation of these international results based on false comparisons is to say that higher test scores in many Asian countries are the result of better teaching. There are so many other factors that contribute to differences in test scores.

Perhaps if all the parents of third grade students were to go on-line and take the sample SBAC test items they would see why such testing is so invalid. 


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