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Old 10-31-2018, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainNJ View Post
im not sure what bothers people about being taught to take the test. if the test is testing what we want the student to learn, then there is no better way to track whether or not they are learning it. tests are awesome. if you have an issue with tests; either the real issue is the curriculum or you likely havent performed well on tests so think negatively of them.
As I've had it explained to me, there's "good" teaching to the test, that is, testing what has been taught; and "bad" teaching to the test, such as giving exact test questions in advance. Pretty much what tnff said.
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Old 10-31-2018, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Northern Appalachia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
As I've had it explained to me, there's "good" teaching to the test, that is, testing what has been taught; and "bad" teaching to the test, such as giving exact test questions in advance. Pretty much what tnff said.
But if tests are designed correctly and not released before the test, is it really possible to teach to the test? People spend thousands of dollars to take prep courses for tests such as the MCAT, LSAT, SAT, ACT, CPA exam, bar exam, etc. There is a vested interest in teaching to the test to get test takers to pass the exam. Do all test takers score highly? Obviously not, when you don't know exactly what questions will be on the exam.
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Old 11-01-2018, 09:03 AM
 
Location: NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
For the purposes of illustration I'll exaggerate a bit. If teaching to the test means teaching math for a math test, then that's not really teaching to the test. But if teaching to test means the test will ask three of the following:

5x5=25
2x5=10
2x2=4
2x3=6

then that's teaching to the test.

In one of my jobs I was one of the SME's asked to review a training course. At first it seemed logical: Decide what the students need to know. Then design a test that tests that knowledge. But there wasn't time to test everything, so the test only tested a subset of the knowledge. Which wouldn't be bad if the student still had to learn the entire range of knowledge because they didn't know what was on the test, but the next step is where it went off the rails. The courseware was designed to teach ONLY what was on the test. So someone who took the course, and passed the test with flying colors, would still only know that subset of material that was tested and would NOT get exposed to the rest of the body of knowledge.

So that's what's wrong with teaching to the test -- you only teach what will be tested and skip anything that won't.
that type of "teaching to the test" certainly would be bad. i dont get the sense that this is the complaint but perhaps it is in some instances. i feel there is an anti-test sentiment, as if we should be testing at all. im not really sure how you can judge success/failure without some form of testing.

in my last post, i mentioned that the issue is probably the curriculum or people who feel that they dont perform well in tests. i just want to add that the quality of the test is important also. we need the right curriculum and the right tests. tests are crucial.
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Old 11-01-2018, 01:26 PM
 
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For those of you who thing that the NCLB and testing are an answer to getting kids to be successful, you may want to watch the race to nowhere.

Race to Nowhere | About the Film

Quote:
Featuring the heartbreaking stories of students across the country who have been pushed to the brink by over-scheduling, over-testing and the relentless pressure to achieve, “Race to Nowhere” points to a silent epidemic in our schools. Through the testimony of educators, parents and education experts, it reveals an education system in which cheating has become commonplace; students have become disengaged; stress-related illness, depression and burnout are rampant; and young people arrive at college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired.

https://slate.com/human-interest/201...e-country.html

Quote:
Race to Nowhere also introduces us to a culture of rampant cheating, which students see as the only way to keep up; rising numbers of medicated kids, some of whom abuse attention-deficit drugs to finish all their assignments; children nearing emotional and physical collapse over the expectation they must be dazzling; and young people trained to be so fearful of making mistakes or taking risks that they are unable to cope when arriving at the workplace. And then there is the agonizing story that bookends the movie—that of a 13-year-old girl, a perfect child so undone by her perceived failures in middle school that she committed suicide.
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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NCLB is no longer extant.
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Old 11-01-2018, 10:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
But if tests are designed correctly and not released before the test, is it really possible to teach to the test? People spend thousands of dollars to take prep courses for tests such as the MCAT, LSAT, SAT, ACT, CPA exam, bar exam, etc. There is a vested interest in teaching to the test to get test takers to pass the exam. Do all test takers score highly? Obviously not, when you don't know exactly what questions will be on the exam.
There are several aspects to test prep beyond knowing the material. One of those is understanding how the questions and answers are structured. It allows you to take a little bit of knowledge and improve your odds of guessing the best answer. You answer the questions you do know, and then by improving the odds of guessing, maybe go from 25% to 60% on the remaining questions makes a big score difference.

Those classic bat is to dog as squirrel is to golf ball questions are another example. No where in school does anyone study to make those irrational comparisons. So you learn to think like a test creator to guess the answers.
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
NCLB is no longer extant.
It was turned over to the states as the Every Student Succeeds Act

https://www.understood.org/en/school...ld-left-behind

https://www.the74million.org/article...ise-to-policy/
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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No. ESSA is a US Department of Education program. https://www.ed.gov/essa
It's actually a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as was NCLB.
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:09 PM
 
5,023 posts, read 4,572,929 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
There are several aspects to test prep beyond knowing the material. One of those is understanding how the questions and answers are structured. It allows you to take a little bit of knowledge and improve your odds of guessing the best answer. You answer the questions you do know, and then by improving the odds of guessing, maybe go from 25% to 60% on the remaining questions makes a big score difference.

Those classic bat is to dog as squirrel is to golf ball questions are another example. No where in school does anyone study to make those irrational comparisons. So you learn to think like a test creator to guess the answers.
Seems that the problem is the design of the tests, perhaps rather than the teaching methods.


In any case, it seems that you can't win either way. People don't like teachers who teach to the test rather than teaching for learning sake. But when a teacher doesn't teach to the test, people complain about that too.
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitsguy2001 View Post
Seems that the problem is the design of the tests, perhaps rather than the teaching methods.


In any case, it seems that you can't win either way. People don't like teachers who teach to the test rather than teaching for learning sake. But when a teacher doesn't teach to the test, people complain about that too.
Most of the folks I know around here don't blame about the teacher, but about the testing focus of the system that forces a teach to the test philosophy. It really all about the ratings. Schools, and therefore management are rated by the scores. So they put pressure on the teacher to raise the scores. So the teachers spend all semester focusing only on what will be tested and what's not tested isn't taught.
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