Thursday, January 1, 2015

Favorite comments of '14: Anonymous

On High-stakes testing in Finland

Anonymous said...
I am not sure what it is exactly that Mr. Sahlberg finds wrong with American school standardized testing in Math. But I could offer you some of my own prospective. It should be noted, that American-style standardized testing in Math has been the target of incredible amount of ridicule and criticism among Europeans since at least middle-to-late eightieths. Consequently, it is likely that there is no educators in place currently here, who have any idea of how it should be done right.
Here is a list of what I think is, and for a long time has been consistently wrong with these tests. Each of the items in the list could be expanded into a lengthy post of its own, so I for now will offer only very brief expansions.
They are based on a dumbed-down curriculum, which they, in turn, promote;
They pose wrong types of questions – good test questions should allow a student at least 20 - 30 minutes to work on each one of them, so there should be much fewer questions but each one of them should be much deeper;
They assess for the wrong skills;
They are using wrong technology – they should not be of multiple choice type and should be based on a human evaluation of a student reasoning at length;
They are improperly organized – test results should be returned to students with errors marked;
They promote wrong type of thinking (or, rather, no thinking at all);
They have an undue influence on the whole education process, because it is one thing to have a single test at the exit of the school, and completely another to have several each year;
So if you ask me what is wrong with American-style standardized testing for Math, the short answer would be - everything.

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