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Old 08-15-2022, 05:52 AM
 
9,036 posts, read 4,999,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Mine, and I believe a lot of people's objections to standardized testing instead comes from the confluence of these two things:

a. Does the test measure what it purports to measure? While they may at a first pass, a key issue is that the format for a standardized test often means they can be "gamed" to artificially raise the score. This has led many schools, such as those in our area, to devote a lot of time each school year to teaching test taking techniques geared toward the tests given in this state. Time that could and should instead be spent teaching subjects.

b. Use of test scores to develop/implement changes in education outside what they were meant to do. This is another that has happened in our schools. Primarily in the form of "teaching to the test." That is spending most of the school year teaching those subjects, and those sub areas, that are on the test and minimizing those subjects that aren't tested. For us this results in Math and English getting much more heavily taught than Science and History which aren't as much a focus of the test.
This. FWIW. I went into teaching but did not last long after I saw how much time was spent (at multiple schools, as I subbed for a few years before going into teaching) teaching to the test instead of teaching actual material. When I was in school, we still took standardized tests, but they were used primarily to show whether we were doing well compared to other students in our grade and to indicate any weaknesses in performance that needed to be looked into.

Ultimately it got to the point for a while (this has since been abandoned) where kids had to pass standardized tests at regular intervals in order to advance between grades. Struggling kids would have 2-3 courses in the tested areas at some schools. When I interviewed at the very high performing school, she said her approach was to have all teachers share the load of teaching reading/writing- so kids would do writing assignments within every class. A huge complaint from people who teach English and math in particular is that they have to do so much in terms of teaching these concepts, but then other teachers aren’t reinforcing it in their classes.
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Old 08-15-2022, 08:41 AM
 
6,181 posts, read 6,208,073 times
Reputation: 4019
Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post
I agree. My kids thrived in public schools, but took the standardized tests (ACT) several time just to improve scores to make sure they were eligible for tuition free in state University education.

My son is done with undergrad in Mechanical Engineering and moving on to a PhD program in Colorado (paid).

The test was nothing more than a score to to ensure eligibility for tuition free. He was already bright and sufficient. Do away with standard tests- let educators do their thing and recommend people based on their real knowledge and performance.

Educators AND kids should not be judged on this. There is so much more involved than a damned number.
But why do you assume that a teacher will do any better in judging people based on real knowledge and performance than a standardized test? As I've said in other threads, even at the same school, different teachers have very different grading standards. Why should life changing decisions be based on what is basically a random lottery as to whether a student gets easy vs hard teachers? I know you'll just say that life isn't fair. So then why don't you just tell students who underperform on standardized tests that life isn't fair?
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Old 08-15-2022, 08:49 AM
 
6,181 posts, read 6,208,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
My daughter's first grade teacher was the worst. At the halfway point of the school year, I asked my daughter the time on a digital clock. She said she didn't know numbers over 10 - her teacher hadn't taught them to count 10 - 100 or how to count by 5's or 10's. I read books on what's covered in first grade and got to work fast. Then I got her out of the school.

A standard test would have shown the whole class was behind due to her teacher's incompetence.

OTHO, class averages may not show the whole picture. Kids are individuals with strengths and weakness. A couple of bright kids can move the class average up. A class with slower kids can move the average down. Then, of course, as others have posted, teachers begin to game the system.

Unfortunately, art/music are dropped to make more time for subject with testing.

It's a dilemma.
My brother always did well on standardized tests, except in 4th grade, when he had a notoriously poor teacher who, like many of the teachers who post in this forum, openly admitted that she only cared about the weakest students. His entire class's standardized test score declined in 4th grade. The other teacher who taught 4th grade at her school was also notoriously poor, and her students also had much lower test scores compared to when they were in lower grades. My brother then had an excellent teacher in 5th grade, and his test scores were back up, as were the scores of his classmates. The other 5th grade teacher was also known to be excellent, and her test scores were also up. It seems to me that my brother's kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade teachers were all doing their jobs, while his 4th grade teacher was not doing her job. But I'm sure the teachers who dominate this forum will either blame the kids or blame the test, even though those same kids taking tests by the same company did well in all other years.
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Old 08-15-2022, 09:16 AM
 
Location: A coal patch in Northern Appalachia
8,876 posts, read 8,961,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
I agree. We lived in MA, but my kids took the the Iowa testing every year in grammar school. The testing was an accurate account of their abilities. It rarely changed from year to year. In fact, their SAT/GRE scores were consisted with their Iowa test scores from grammar school.



The problem is the political influences on educators now vs. when our kids were young.
I remember taking the Iowa Test of Basic Skills in elementary school back in the 1960s. The schools didn't make a big deal out of it and they only lasted for a day or two. The results were sent home and basically told your parents if you were behind, at grade level, or ahead of your grade level. They were also probably the main tool they used to divide us in 7th grade by ability.
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Old 08-15-2022, 10:48 AM
 
Location: NMB, SC
25,553 posts, read 8,310,003 times
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I do believe the changes made to education over the years has worked against us.

The smart kids have not pulled up the not so smart kids.
Teaching to a mixed ability class doesn't challenge the smarter ones; they get bored quite easily.

I don't see the US going back to ability testing and class placements though so private school is probably the best answer for the very smart.

Even G&T programs are being watered down and/or eliminated in the name of equity.
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Old 08-15-2022, 01:03 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
30,522 posts, read 50,749,766 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMSRetired View Post
I do believe the changes made to education over the years has worked against us.

The smart kids have not pulled up the not so smart kids.
Teaching to a mixed ability class doesn't challenge the smarter ones; they get bored quite easily.

....
For the many high achieving students who COULD assist their peers, it would be very productive to allow and encourage them to do that. It's not bad training for future employment where the ranking system is often based on how well you help ALL on your team excel. This could be filtered into the school system (part of your merit score based on how well you transfer knowledge to equip others. ) With the use of AI, this skill (teaching others / knowledge transfer) could be added into standardized testing.

Of course, 'the professionals' on this forum will disagree'; "You can't do that, we've tried unsuccessfully a million times!", yada-yada as we have all heard throughout our careers and education.

Listen to your managers to appease them, then go do what is right for your deliverables and necessary to achieve required results.
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Old 08-15-2022, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Juneau, AK + Puna, HI
8,800 posts, read 5,317,009 times
Reputation: 12448
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Mine, and I believe a lot of people's objections to standardized testing instead comes from the confluence of these two things:

a. Does the test measure what it purports to measure? While they may at a first pass, a key issue is that the format for a standardized test often means they can be "gamed" to artificially raise the score. This has led many schools, such as those in our area, to devote a lot of time each school year to teaching test taking techniques geared toward the tests given in this state. Time that could and should instead be spent teaching subjects.

b. Use of test scores to develop/implement changes in education outside what they were meant to do. This is another that has happened in our schools. Primarily in the form of "teaching to the test." ..
Interesting. Neither has never been done in our school district, at all.

The closest thing I can think of is in the AP Calculus class, the last week or so is devoted to going over an old AP test while discussing test taking strategies for this one specifically.
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Old 09-05-2022, 08:55 AM
 
3,740 posts, read 1,967,005 times
Reputation: 5475
"As conceived by America’s founding fathers, public education was supposed to bind together a nation of immigrants from disparate classes. But public schools today are at the center of controversy, over curricula, security protocols, mask mandates, and more. As of June, only 29% of Americans—and just 14% of Republicans—put their trust in them, the lowest level since Gallup began asking the question in 1973. Parents are increasingly voting with their feet. Voucher programs in 15 states now use taxpayer dollars to subsidize tuition at private or religious schools. Charter schools account for almost 7% of overall enrollment; in Washington, D.C., 43% of public school children attend one. Also, more kids are getting home-schooled. This fragmentation is fostering divisions along racial and socioeconomic lines in ways that run contrary to the original ideal."
https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2.../?srnd=premium
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Old 09-05-2022, 09:00 AM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
40,946 posts, read 53,137,514 times
Reputation: 54819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arktikos View Post
Interesting. Neither has never been done in our school district, at all.

The closest thing I can think of is in the AP Calculus class, the last week or so is devoted to going over an old AP test while discussing test taking strategies for this one specifically.
Then they figured a workaround to the original NCLB test improvement requirements and its follow-ons of Race to the Top and PARCC.

Alaska did have exit exams for about ten years until 2014.
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Old 09-05-2022, 01:18 PM
 
Location: NMB, SC
25,553 posts, read 8,310,003 times
Reputation: 24534
Funny thing about standardized tests....when too many start failing the tests themselves become "bad" and "not accurate".
They seemed great and useful for decades..but lately...

Same sad sorry excuses when we show up on PISA..."but..."
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