Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fair Test: Testing Resistance & Reform News: April 18-23, 2013

Every week seems to set a new record for coverage of the rapidly expanding national movement against high-stakes testing overkill. -- Fair Test
Except at Gotham Schools.

Read the idiot Gotham Schools piece supporting Pearson tests by Jennifer Borgioli who actually cites George W. Bush to support testing and makes other nonsensical points or as one activist states:  it is one of the worst edited pieces I have ever seen.  It is illogically constructed, badly written and the arguments are so weak as to be laughable, and read NYC Educator's piece critiquing it (Gotham Schools Defends High-Stakes Testing)

Let's show some muscle.  Change the Stakes RALLY Friday, 4PM: CLEANING UP the MESS of HIGH STAKES TESTING

Come out to Tweed on Friday from 4-5:30 to show how you feel about the child/teacher abusing use of highs takes tests.

Check this list from Fair Test's Bob Schaeffer:
Every week seems to set a new record for coverage of the rapidly expanding national movement against high-stakes testing overkill.  In addition to stories about resistance to standardized exams from a dozen states, many excellent commentaries were published in the past few days.

Remember that back issues of these updates are online at http://fairtest.org/news -- click on the red button at the top of the page to Donate to support FairTest's work making testing reform news and distributing it.

Overuse of High-Stakes Tests Feeds Cheating Explosion -- USA Today editorial response by FairTest

High-Stakes Testing Exposed . . . Again

Education "Reform" Missing Another "R" -- Results

How Do You Evaluate Teachers Who Change Lives? (not by "value-added" test scores)

New York Parents: My Kids Not Taking Another Standardized Test
Parents Outraged by Common Core Testing

Error by Testing Giant Pearson Shuts 2,700 NYC Students Out of Gifted-and-Talented Classes

Chicago Students Plan Boycott of State Test

In Bid to Pare Exams, Texas Targets Pearson
State Tests Impede Learning
Crash Test: A History of Texas Testing and the Growing Resistance

Portland Students Protest High-Stakes Testing

Ohio School Administrators Under Investigation in Another Cheating Scandal

Testing Regime Fails Georgia Students

Only Bubble-Headed Zombies Rely on Standardized Testing in North Carolina

Testing time: Anxious Kids. Angry Parents. Approaching Revolution

Teaching to Test Takes Away From Education

School Uses Bribes and Threats to Make Students Take Tests

Standardized Testing: The Great Deception

Testing Addiction is Real School Scandal

How High-Stakes Testing Transformed My Job From Great to Infuriating

The First Race to the Top


  1. Is there something wrong with me?

    I absolutely loved standardized tests when I was a student!

    Metropolitan Achievement Tests

    Iowa Skills Tests


    Regents Exams



    CEEB Achievement Tests

    You name it!

    Loved them all!

    The prep was time off from "regular work."

    The testing days were opportunities to legally eat and drink in the classroom.

    Proctored exams could become pretty loud depending on who the proctor was.

    On a first grade test, repeated in second, one series of questions involved selecting which of four pictures (diagrams) did not belong. To this day, I wonder which of the four pails pouring a stream of water it was. Back then, all four choices looked as if they belonged.

    On a sixth grade test, one series of questions had been based on the map of the imaginary country of Japonica. But I had already seen the questions one week prior when I had discovered a stack of the test booklets lying around in Hebrew School of all places.

    And then there was my shame of picking the wrong multiple-choice definition of "coronet" in seventh grade.

    I knew how to find the area of a circle, though, in seventh grade, as I had learned the topic in sixth.

    In eleventh grade I was pleased to know the definition of "contretemps" since a TV character had used the word just the day before, and I was able to find it in a dictionary.

    Do other people remember some of their favorite, least favorite, or simply puzzling standardized test moments from their student days?

  2. You loved them because you were pretty good at them. My trauma moment came when after we had a half year of after school test prep for the Brooklyn Tech test when we were in 8th grade - at JHS 166 - Gershwin - which had just opened the year before and wanted to compete for honors in having lots of kids accepted to Tech -- I found myself leaving 1/3 of the question blank not because I didn't know them but because I screwed up on the time --- in other words I didn't know how to take a test like that. But I did learn from that experience and did much better in the future. That was my first high stakes test. Before that I remember the day before a stand test being told to bring a number 2 pencil the next day and that was it. No prep or high stakes we knew about. No closed schools. No 3rd graders being told their teachers' jobs or the schools fate hung on the test. Or that they would not pass and be held back.
    So yes I believe in stand tests for college entry and some high school entry -- when kids are old enough to handle the pressure and really understand the stakes for them.
    But even in those cases colleges do not just use the SAT alone. And studies of tests do show some bias towards white males.
    There is no question that people who are reading before they enter school have a major advantage that is never overcome given the resources put into the kids that do not.


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