Thursday, January 15, 2015

Annual testing in ESEA renewal

With the issuing of Senator Alexander's draft language for a renewed Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the debates, particularly over annual testing, have commenced. The questions of who gets tested, when, how much, and what the results are used for are all up in the air, but largely the debate is getting oversimplied to "annual testing: yes or no?"
Particularly with the big question of civil rights looming over the debate, I've been concerned by this oversimplification. I'm relieved, therefore, to see Bruce Baker add his voice today in a post entitled "Cutting Through the Stupid in the Debate Over Annual Testing." Baker says:
Missed in most of the conversation are the valid, relevant uses of student assessments, and the different uses, and approaches to using testing, measurement, large and small scale assessment in our schooling system.
Mixed in with this discussion of late is whether annual testing enhances the civil rights of children, or erodes them.
I would have to quote all of Baker's post to make his point, so instead I will urge you to go read his post in full.  

UPDATE: And consider this, as well:

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