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Are we testing our children too much?

Posted by on Apr. 2, 2012 at 7:10 PM
  • 14 Replies

 

High-stakes testing cheats children out of a quality education

crcted.0920 (Medium)The folks at FairTest have been raising the alarm about excessive testing and its impact on education long before most people.

Here is a response to the AJC investigation into nationwide disparities in test results from Robert Schaeffer, public education director of FairTest: the National Center for Fair & Open Testing

By Robert Schaeffer

Across the U.S., the politically mandated misuse of standardized tests is damaging public schools and the children they serve. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s investigation of suspicious test scores around the nation is just the latest example. Experts may debate the methodology, but there is no question that cheating on standardized exams is widespread. In just the past three academic years, FairTest has documented confirmed cases of test score manipulation in 33 states plus the District of Columbia.

These scandals are the predictable result of over-reliance on test scores. As the renowned social scientist Donald Campbell concluded more than 30 years ago, “The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.” Campbell continued, “[W]hen test scores become the goal of the teaching process, they both lose their value as indicators of educational status and distort the educational process in undesirable ways.”

Testing experts have long recognized this problem. Their professional standards for educational assessment warn against relying on tests as the sole or primary factor to make high-stakes decisions.

Enhanced test security may reduce the number of reported problems. A real solution, however, requires a comprehensive overhaul of federal, state and local testing requirements. President Obama, Secretary Duncan and many governors regularly issue high-sounding statements about assessment reform. At the same time, the federal government is adding incentives for cheating by ratcheting up the emphasis on standardized exam scores. Many state officials are going along to win federal funds. Initiatives such as “Race to the Top” and the criteria for waivers from “No Child Left Behind” escalate the role of annual high-stakes annual testing. New requirements to assess teachers based on their students’ scores, in particular, virtually guarantee even more cheating will take place.

These policies contradict the findings and recommendations of Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education, released last year by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science. That study’s distinguished panel of experts concluded that high-stakes testing has not improved educational quality

Cracking down on cheating is necessary but far from sufficient. The reports by the Georgia Office of Special Investigators should be a national model of “best practices” for detecting and responding to testing irregularities. Unfortunately, educational bureaucrats may have vested interests in protecting current policies and personnel. Comprehensive reviews by independent law enforcement professionals are often necessary. Combined with the full range of forensic detection tools – including analyses for high numbers of erasures, unusual score gains, and patterns of similar responses – this approach has proven most likely to root out the truth.

More policing and better after-the-fact investigations will not, however, solve the many problems caused by the misuse of standardized exam scores. Instead, high-stakes testing requirements must end. They cheat students out of a high-quality education and cheat the public out of accurate information about school quality.

How much testing do you do with your children?  Do you think testing should be limited? 

by on Apr. 2, 2012 at 7:10 PM
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Replies (1-10):
usmom3
by BJ on Apr. 2, 2012 at 7:30 PM

 Yes I think kids are tested to much & in the wrong way!

kirbymom
by Sonja on Apr. 2, 2012 at 7:34 PM

 Just curious, but, in what way do you think there's too much testing? 

Quoting usmom3:

 Yes I think kids are tested to much & in the wrong way!

 

usmom3
by BJ on Apr. 2, 2012 at 7:47 PM
1 mom liked this

 For Public school/privet school & some homeschool kids every week they are tested on almost every subject to see if they "got the information"! But all the test proves is the child can take in facts & regurgitate them for the test! As soon as the test is over & the information is no longer needed in the mind of the child it is forgotten. The best way for a child to learn things & remember them is to have them be tied to their day to day life! Actually putting what they learn to use everyday will concrete the information in place! 

We shouldn't even be testing! Testing is something you do to check & see if something works! If you want to know what a child knows talk to them, have a conversation & ask them questions! Have the child show you what they know if what you are asking about is something they can demonstrate! 

Quoting kirbymom:

 Just curious, but, in what way do you think there's too much testing? 

Quoting usmom3:

 Yes I think kids are tested to much & in the wrong way!

 

 

Pinned Image

kirbymom
by Sonja on Apr. 2, 2012 at 7:59 PM

 Okay, while I agree with you for the most part, how would this be done in a bigger school where you have just one teacher? That teacher wouldn't be able to teach their *curriculum* for needing to ask all the students some pin-pointed questions. I mean, there would be too many students to be able to actually put this into practice. 

Quoting usmom3:

 For Public school/privet school & some homeschool kids every week they are tested on almost every subject to see if they "got the information"! But all the test proves is the child can take in facts & regurgitate them for the test! As soon as the test is over & the information is no longer needed in the mind of the child it is forgotten. The best way for a child to learn things & remember them is to have them be tied to their day to day life! Actually putting what they learn to use everyday will concrete the information in place! 

We shouldn't even be testing! Testing is something you do to check & see if something works! If you want to know what a child knows talk to them, have a conversation & ask them questions! Have the child show you what they know if what you are asking about is something they can demonstrate! 

Quoting kirbymom:

 Just curious, but, in what way do you think there's too much testing? 

Quoting usmom3:

 Yes I think kids are tested to much & in the wrong way!

 

 

 

usmom3
by BJ on Apr. 2, 2012 at 8:29 PM
1 mom liked this

 You are right it wouldn't work nor would I want it to work! The school system is not set up for children to learn the way nature intended them to! Children should never be shipped off to buildings & segregated by their ages & then forced to learn things that don't interestthem for the whole day & then forced to take work home with them so that the little time they would have for themselves is taken from them & they have to do it 5 days a week! If there has to be a place for children to go everyday so that their parents can work let it be a place that they get to pick what they learn & how they learn it so the child will actually learn something!

Quoting kirbymom:

 Okay, while I agree with you for the most part, how would this be done in a bigger school where you have just one teacher? That teacher wouldn't be able to teach their *curriculum* for needing to ask all the students some pin-pointed questions. I mean, there would be too many students to be able to actually put this into practice. 

Quoting usmom3:

 For Public school/privet school & some homeschool kids every week they are tested on almost every subject to see if they "got the information"! But all the test proves is the child can take in facts & regurgitate them for the test! As soon as the test is over & the information is no longer needed in the mind of the child it is forgotten. The best way for a child to learn things & remember them is to have them be tied to their day to day life! Actually putting what they learn to use everyday will concrete the information in place! 

We shouldn't even be testing! Testing is something you do to check & see if something works! If you want to know what a child knows talk to them, have a conversation & ask them questions! Have the child show you what they know if what you are asking about is something they can demonstrate! 

Quoting kirbymom:

 Just curious, but, in what way do you think there's too much testing? 

Quoting usmom3:

 Yes I think kids are tested to much & in the wrong way!

 

 

 

 

Pinned Image

blue52
by on Apr. 2, 2012 at 8:48 PM

How much testing do you do with your children?  Do you think testing should be limited? 

[/quote]

What do you think? Is testing a part of your curriculum?
kirbymom
by Sonja on Apr. 2, 2012 at 8:51 PM

 I guess that is why you and I homeschool our kids. I dis-like the ps system. 

Quoting usmom3:

 You are right it wouldn't work nor would I want it to work! The school system is not set up for children to learn the way nature intended them to! Children should never be shipped off to buildings & segregated by their ages & then forced to learn things that don't interestthem for the whole day & then forced to take work home with them so that the little time they would have for themselves is taken from them & they have to do it 5 days a week! If there has to be a place for children to go everyday so that their parents can work let it be a place that they get to pick what they learn & how they learn it so the child will actually learn something!

Quoting kirbymom:

 Okay, while I agree with you for the most part, how would this be done in a bigger school where you have just one teacher? That teacher wouldn't be able to teach their *curriculum* for needing to ask all the students some pin-pointed questions. I mean, there would be too many students to be able to actually put this into practice. 

Quoting usmom3:

 For Public school/privet school & some homeschool kids every week they are tested on almost every subject to see if they "got the information"! But all the test proves is the child can take in facts & regurgitate them for the test! As soon as the test is over & the information is no longer needed in the mind of the child it is forgotten. The best way for a child to learn things & remember them is to have them be tied to their day to day life! Actually putting what they learn to use everyday will concrete the information in place! 

We shouldn't even be testing! Testing is something you do to check & see if something works! If you want to know what a child knows talk to them, have a conversation & ask them questions! Have the child show you what they know if what you are asking about is something they can demonstrate! 

Quoting kirbymom:

 Just curious, but, in what way do you think there's too much testing? 

Quoting usmom3:

 Yes I think kids are tested to much & in the wrong way!

 

 

 

 

 

kirbymom
by Sonja on Apr. 2, 2012 at 8:56 PM

 Actually, we don't do alot of testing as much as we have them do research reports and write their opinions.

Quoting blue52:


How much testing do you do with your children?  Do you think testing should be limited? 

[/quote]

What do you think? Is testing a part of your curriculum?

 

blue52
by on Apr. 2, 2012 at 9:01 PM
Interesting.What style do you consider that?

Im gonna have to get on my computer to answer your question..my mind is miving faster than my fingers on my phone...lol

quote name="kirbymom" id="0"][/quote]
kirbymom
by Sonja on Apr. 2, 2012 at 9:26 PM

 Actually, its something we came up with ourselves. It helps the kids learn and then have to think about what their own opinions are and formulate them now as opposed to waiting until something comes along and then formulate their opinions. We try to teach them how to not only talk about their own faiths, beliefs, views and ideas but all those that are different from them and do it well. They need to be   able and well versed   so they can either further their own beliefs or  find where they need to change. If they need to change. 

Quoting blue52:

Interesting.What style do you consider that?

Im gonna have to get on my computer to answer your question..my mind is miving faster than my fingers on my phone...lol

quote name="kirbymom" id="0"][/quote]

 

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