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pencil filling out standardized test
As policymakers push schools to focus more and more on standardized testing, they don't seem to be asking one of the big questions about that push—anyway, what you'd think would be one of the big questions. Does teaching kids to do well at standardized tests teach them to do well at other things? Does it make them smarter (whatever "smarter" means)? Well, add a mark in the "not so much" column. Standardized tests:
... are designed to measure the knowledge and skills that students have acquired in school — what psychologists call “crystallized intelligence.” However, schools whose students have the highest gains on test scores do not produce similar gains in “fluid intelligence” — the ability to analyze abstract problems and think logically — according to a new study from MIT neuroscientists working with education researchers at Harvard University and Brown University.

In a study of nearly 1,400 eighth-graders in the Boston public school system, the researchers found that some schools have successfully raised their students’ scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). However, those schools had almost no effect on students’ performance on tests of fluid intelligence skills, such as working memory capacity, speed of information processing, and ability to solve abstract problems.

Crystallized intelligence is great, as far as it goes. But is it all we want our schools trying to accomplish? Yet these tests are increasingly taking over the school year.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You can test until the cows come home (54+ / 0-)

    When kids go to school hungry, don't have resources at home, have less resources at school because too many people insist on lower taxes, and when teachers are as disrespected and underpaid as they are today you're not going to have much success.

    Our educational policies are upside down.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 02:02:21 PM PST

  •  But the fundies and the wingnuts don't want (24+ / 0-)

    kids who have

    "the ability to analyze abstract problems and think logically"

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 02:04:43 PM PST

  •  How hard can it be to fill in a circle ... (3+ / 0-)

    with a #2 pencil? Come on kids!


    Caution: The reality in the mirror may be closer than it appears.

    by glb3 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 02:10:59 PM PST

  •  I'ts not that standardized testing... (10+ / 0-)

    ...doesn't make our kids smarter -- it's that teaching to standardized testing doesn't make kids smarter.
    I understand that the author meant just that, but in a climate where we pay so much more attention to the testing itself rather than what's being assessed by the testing, this is something we need to keep more carefully and thoroughly in mind.
    Crystallized knowledge is one of the most fundamental levels of knowledge; we need the higher levels of understanding.

    •  There is no need for standardized testing. A big (6+ / 0-)

      waste of time and money.  Private schools and their students do just fine without it.

    •  Truth. (6+ / 0-)

      Standardized testing is just a testing method.  It doesn't make kids smarter or dumber.  Teaching to the test, making crystallized knowledge a priority over problem solving itself, that is the problem.  If the tests required more abstract thought or asked less direct questions but then were answered with those colored in circles, it would be better.

      There is certainly a place for essay questions.  It is possible that I could even be convinced that the speed with which you can answer a question matters in ways that can't be reflected in a timed standardized test.  But standardized tests are not the problem here, that is just obfuscation.

      The priorities of the school districts are the problem.

      Currently reading: Path To A Better World: A Plan for Prosperity, Opportunity, and Economic Justice by James Aldus

      by Aramis Wyler on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 03:50:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is no such thing as a standardaized essay (0+ / 0-)

        test because there will inevitably be human bias involved.  No, the only way to have a standard, objective test is if it is multiple choice, true/false, or fill in the blank.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 05:56:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The tests aren't really about the kids; they're (23+ / 0-)

    about the teachers and having a hammer to beat them down with.  If we really want our kids to improve their skills and demonstrate learning we need to replicate the social and economic settings of the nations that do better than we do.  But that would involve a lot of socialism, pupil sorting and categorizing at early ages, heterogenous student populations, and parents who value education and who may even accept the verities of science and what is observable.  There's just too much evidence that that ain't us, but as soon as we get them teachers gone and replace 'em with freemarket textbooks, computer games and apps and other devices that separate/divide us all will be well.  Right?

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 02:26:44 PM PST

  •  Standardized testing is for the schools (11+ / 0-)

    not the kids.

    It's counterproductive on its own terms because schools have every incentive to cheat the system and inflate their scores year over year.

    There's no benefit for allowing the testing to accurately recording the state of your school. (The other part of the increased testing paradigm is supposed to be increased funding for everyone.)

    Predictably, we have a sort of cat-and-mouse game where the testers try to find ever more convoluted ways to trick the schools and the schools spend ever more time training the kids to pick C if they don't know the answer.

    The sad irony is that the worse the school, the more time they have to waste on preparing for tests. NCLB...

  •  Huh? (13+ / 0-)

    Standardized tests aren't designed to make kids smarter, they're designed to convince everybody that the schools are bad and need to be reformed (read: privatized.)

    29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 02:31:39 PM PST

  •  Every week I see another (14+ / 0-)

    letter or article from a former teacher who felt s/he had to leave teaching because standardized tests were turning their jobs into something they felt was wrong and bad for their students. And they couldn't change it & didn't want to be a part of it.

    It's like the wheels came off the bus a long while ago but it's still sliding down the highway at high speed, crushing everything in its way. The shame of it is the generation of students who are learning tick marks instead of getting a well rounded education.

    •  Yes!! And to make things worse... (0+ / 0-)

      ...the graduates from the best teacher preparation programs at both the bachelor and master's levels, which are usually social action-focused and philosophically against the standardized testing system, are the young teachers who burn out after <3-5 years because of just exactly what you described above. They are full of passion and amazing lesson plans, and then their first year or two teaching smashes that right out of them when the effed up reality of what's expected (i.e. teaching to the standardized tests) becomes clear. I have already watched it happen to far too many of the colleagues I had during my master's level teacher preparation program four and a half years ago.

      What are left are:
      1) the older generation teachers, who either follow, sheeplike, into the teaching-to-the-test expectations as to not make waves, or are subversive and slowly but surely are character-defamed and railroaded out of the classroom into early retirement or private schools or teaching at community colleges.
      2) the younger generation who are poorly prepared, and therefore anxious not to mess up and appear incompetent. These eager go-getters become the school district's yes-men/women for whatever testing-based initiative or requirement is the flavor of the year.

      So we end up with not only crappier types of materials and lessons for our kids, we end up with crappier teachers too, when great teachers who see the testing revolution is bullshit either leave the field or hunker down and comply to save their livelihoods. It's so sad. I love working with kids and teens but I'm so glad I jumped ship to social work.

  •  if they were actually teaching (7+ / 0-)

    the kids, the standardized tests would be no problem. It's when all the teaching is only to cover the standardized tests, nothing else is learned.

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 02:38:02 PM PST

    •  As someone who trained to become a teacher (0+ / 0-)

      in 2008 and 2009, as the standardized testing craze was really ramping up, let me please tell you this: We (teachers with half a brain who aren't just yes-men/women to the school district testing initiatives) would LOVE to actually teach, to choose lesson plans, to choose materials, to help kids think creatively and critically, to teach them how to form strong opinions, to teach them that life is not multiple choice, to not spend half of our instructional time teaching kids HOW to take the test (how to use the computer system, how to make a best-guess, etc).

      However, in many, many cases it comes down to:

      1) Comply, knowing that you are not serving the children well, hating yourself for it every day, being lauded as professional while feeling crappy about what you are supporting.
      2) Lose your career or at least your job by voluntarily leaving the field, being fired for outright defiance of the expectations, or having your position reduced to half time or less, or cut entirely because of "funding/budget shortfalls" when it's obvious they just want to get rid of you out of there and hire someone who won't give them any trouble.

      Pick one.

  •  What standardized testing did to me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Temmoku, organicus

    Now that I reflect on the subject......and on my conversations with my classmates at the time (c. 1955, elementary school).....we had good teachers and a good school. There were some standardized tests. We did learn how to fill in those spaces.....

    But the overall impression was mistrust. Very much the same kind of emotion/feeling that we had when we found out how much the government was lying to us about Vietnam.

    It was like being forced to participate in something that didn't "fit" and wasn't quite "normal" and yet it was permitted to carry on and it was given more respect than it deserved.

    The one test I liked was in High School--I mean, I liked the results. I got the highest score in the country. It was the one time that we were told to relax before the test, that it wouldn't count for anything....it was just being used to measure the effectiveness of the course.

    Every other test gave me a stomach ache beforehand. Knots. Nerves. Chewing on pencils.

  •  The image is wacko (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Temmoku, mightymouse

    Everyone knows that the correct answer is b.

  •  Drilling and memorization will get you through (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tubacat, Cassandra Waites, Temmoku

    a standardized bubble exam of any type be it in elementary school or the GRE.

    Being able to apply what has been learned requires the freedom to play around with it and work at problem solving without a rigid curriculum.  

    •  If that's the case... (0+ / 0-)

      ...test scores should be uniformly high -- and they don't seem to be when comparing US students to other countries.

      Most jobs that only require a high school diploma require little if any creativity. Most basic life skills, such as being able to figure out what a new TV will cost you if you put it on your credit card @12% interest and only add $20 to your monthly credit card, don't require creativity.

      High school diplomas should mean something -- if not, they mean nothing to employers and we should just get rid of mandatory school attendance.

      I don't like "teaching to the test". But, if I was hiring someone for a job and they had a high school diploma, I would hope that I could rely on some set of skills/abilities. For example, I might expect them to be able to accurately compute, in their head or on scratch paper, that if one piece of steel of is 4 132 inch long and another piece is 48 38, that the two pieces laid end to end will be 52 1332. I would prefer not to have to test them on my own -- but would if the schools didn't have standard standards for issuing a diploma. That applicant IS going to end up being tested -- either by me (and/)or the school, and it seems that they should be able to simple fractions.

      Generally, I blame the tests for the problems with testing. Some of the standard tests are horrible (such as questions are ambiguous where that is not the goal - I assume they are written by people who got degrees in education rather than the actual topic being tested -- but maybe there is another explanation). Unfortunately, the achievement level of those who worry about tests is so low that making the tests abstract or requiring creativity PLUS application of basic skills would result in too many scores that would be indistinguishable from random guessing (or, even worse because a good multiple choice test will have plausible distractors and random guessers won't be drawn in by those but uneducated test takers may).

      Good students (reasonably smart, parents support education, school isn't a dump etc) don't have to worry about the standardized tests at all. The problem isn't the tests, the problem is cultures (home, school, and community) that don't emphasis and prioritize education. For example, in my extended family, every child passed their High School Exit Exam when they first attempted it as sophomores in high school - yet, amazingly, some seniors in their graduating classes couldn't pass it. No, all the children in my extended family are not geniuses, but their parents have expectations and have control of their children.

  •  In Missouri, the state biology exam (14+ / 0-)

    almost exclusively tests knowledge of ecology and "inquiry" (identifying variables, etc.).  These are important topics, for sure, but there has been a revolution in molecular biology over the past forty years and students in Missouri are not being taught any of it.

    I get them the next year in chemistry and they don't  know what a protein is.  They're not even exposed to the central dogma of genetics, never mind how genes get turned on and off or genetic engineering (which has never made an appearance in the state curriculum frameworks).

    Even classic high school biology topics like diffusion and osmosis do not get covered because there is so little weight put on them on the state test and if you are a biology teacher trying to hang on to your job by moving a certain percentage of test scores from below basic to basic, you can't afford to spend the time (and don't even get me started on the "quintation" -- decimation, I wish) of instructional time.

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 02:48:20 PM PST

  •  We can teach kids to memorize... (6+ / 0-)

    but what we should be doing is teaching them how to THINK.
    It amazes me how many younger folks don't have critical thinking skills, can't solve everyday problems, just can't figure "it" out.
    We're doomed if folks can't think. Doomed.

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 02:49:41 PM PST

    •  So far as I can see (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Temmoku, nextstep

      the kids get taught neither to memorize, nor to think—let alone readin', writin', or 'rithmetic. And then I get them in my college classes, in no wise prepared to do university-level work. From my vantage point, the public education system is a monumental failure that is properly laid at the door of the Education Establishment, whose credentialing regime is not worth the paper it prints education degrees on. If we want things fixed, we could do worse than to junk these near-useless studies and certficates.

  •  John D. Rockefeller said, "Industry doesn't need (10+ / 0-)

    thinkers, it needs workers."

    George Carlin said it best when he said, Employers are looking for people just barely smart enough to operate the machinery and fill out the paperwork but not smart enough to know that they're getting the big red, white, and blue dick shoved up their asses."

  •  The turning point in American education = (5+ / 0-)

    when people like George H.W. Bush and other powerful people who make fortunes from America's military-industrial complex heard Dwight D. Eisenhower say this:

    " . . . . .only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Farewell Address
    http://www.ourdocuments.gov/...

    Elites (economic elites, I mean) know that the biggest threat they face is from an educated and active Middle Class. So, they have been dismantling it.

    I remember very well before the changes started.
     

  •  For those who seek complete control, students (4+ / 0-)

    who have been taught to think critically are the enemy:  take them down, however you have to do it, even if it means completely ruining the U.S. educational system.

  •  Standardized tests enrich testing companies (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    houyhnhnm, Mayfly, Karen from Maui

    just as diagnoses of ADHD enrich drug companies.

    Both are pseudoscience, fleecing the very gullible American public.

  •  Diarist has done just what the study's author... (7+ / 0-)

    advised us not to do:

    Gabrieli notes that the study should not be interpreted as critical of schools that are improving their students’ MCAS scores. “It’s valuable to push up the crystallized abilities, because if you can do more math, if you can read a paragraph and answer comprehension questions, all those things are positive,” he says.
    Indeed,  a skill such as reading comprehension, even if it is just a "crystallized ability," is a near-essential for success in our society.  I would argue that a kid who can read and comprehend and who can do math is indeed better off than one who can't, all else equal.

    And, all else appears to be equal, according to the study:

    [T]hose schools [that improved their test scores] had almost no effect on students’ performance on tests of fluid intelligence skills, such as working memory capacity, speed of information processing, and ability to solve abstract problems.
    So, whatever the schools did to improve their students' crystallized abilities, it did not hurt their fluid intelligence at all.  If the schools left out certain prior activities in order to spend more time "teaching to the test", it did not hurt the students in any area that was measured.  

    Of course, we want to improve fluid intelligence also, if possible.  So, according to the study, the task now appears to be to identify and add activities that improve fluid intelligence, not to abandon gains in crystallized abilities, which are important also.

  •  Why is this a surprise? (0+ / 0-)

    Even outside of standardized tests, too much of our educational system is based on recall, not intelligence.

    Most high school tests could be done just as well by a properly trained monkey.

    And the problem is that too much of it stays in the brain just long enough for the test, but it never converts into working knowledge.

    I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. Mohandas Gandhi

    by DouglasH on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 03:04:54 PM PST

  •  Standardized Students leave no room for Creative (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elizaveta

    Innovators. Republicans want a general public that does not think, does not ask questions and willingly fits into the peg holes assigned to them. If you have teaching that reaches beyond scoring on the TEST, you might have students who question the SYSTEM.

  •  You forget the big advantage of standardized tests (4+ / 0-)

    They make Neil Bush richer!   That's the point, folks.

    The right of the women of this State to be secure in their persons against unreasonable searches shall not be violated by the State legislature.

    by Mayfly on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 04:15:43 PM PST

  •  Tests aren't supposed to make people smarter (0+ / 0-)

    They allow the institution to easily let itself off the hook--holding up a proficiency artifice and putting people on the spot regardless of personal readiness much less motivation to act as thinking machines where they are then either heralded or stigmatized. Now that people do not have to BE "computers" because we "have" computers, no one should be "processed" though such an industrialized machine which assumes itself the supreme authority. The students are actually the very people who will create the future. They are not creating the past. Yet there is a culture of ancient hero worship that sends wrong messages to young people that only some rare geniuses are capable. This is a massive lie which is squandering the potential of our species.

    Education should not be a "hit or miss" proposition where some are just written off as lesser than. Producing a human computer is idiotic at this point. Some academic subjects are necessary to establish the basis for literacy, but as soon as those rudimentary proficiencies are achieved, then motivation must become the horse which pulls the cart of higher learning. And motivation by mere threat of consequence for non-acquiescence to authority's blind dictates is the lowest and faultiest model of motivation.

    People who haven't looked at this objectively and correlated educational shortfalls to societal ones, will not see what or where there is profound need and place for change. Come out, come out where ever you are and meet the young lady who fell from a star. Dorthy's house fell on the scoure that was EurAsian communism/socialism. And that means that we need to get over it and stop thinking that competition is the be all and end all of everything. Social development and cooperative models are neglected entirely in western education, and that's probably the main reason why the prevailing assumption is that without absolute authority is absolute chaos. This is not so, when young human beings get to actually assume and share authority at various times while the system challenges them to LEAD IT.

    Give youth real economy to work with--not sweeping the cafeteria, but blazing new trails in journalizing current events and changing journalism. Pump some trust in and create competition that matters more than just sucking up to the man.

    "Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire" W.B. Yeats

    by RareBird0 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 04:31:59 PM PST

  •  Kids not smarter but corporations are richer (0+ / 0-)

    The purpose of testing is to transfer taxpayer funds into the pockets of the testing corporations.

  •  Common Core is the Black Hole of Education (0+ / 0-)

    I believe the CCSS has distracted educators from doing what they do best: collaborating. I’m genuinely concerned that educators are becoming so comfortable in complaining about the CCSS, that collaboration, via social media, is often neglected. Why? Well, more and more, I’m finding it difficult to discuss anything other than the CCSS.
    http://atthechalkface.com/...

  •  problem with writing tests (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Temmoku, mightymouse

    I teach college freshmen, and they have been drilled basically on how to write their SAT essays -- how to glance at a prompt, quickly organize a 5-paragraph essay, and spit it out in a tight amount of time.

    I spend an entire semester trying to untrain them from that, because real writing requires brainstorming, rewriting, letting it sit, rethinking your premises, checking sources to add more supporting detail, getting some feedback, revising again, rewriting your thesis sentence, and last but not least, proofreading. Oh, and five paragraphs aren't usually going to work -- they are so well-trained that they'll have two-page paragraphs before they will violate the Rule of 5.

  •  Should surprise no one with even minimal teaching (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Temmoku

    experience.  We used to teach how to think and how to learn, producing human beings.  Now we just program biological worker robots.

    BTW, one meaning of robot is slave.

  •  I went to MA Mather Elem. School (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Temmoku

    I agree Standardized testing isn't a measure of anything given the unequal education available to different regions and areas income levels. This isn't a fair evaluation of potential at all. It cheats kids and isn't fair! It also wasn't always the case.
    Mather School in MA. was a national model for the nations schools. We had the best scores and were well funded by Federal and ( low) local taxes..(mostly Federal) taxes.

     We had Reading ( a great Library) English, writing, Math, Social Studies, Music, ( and  instruments provided for students to use), Art's programs, history, (films to watch) and Civics, frequent (free) field trips, hot lunches cooked (literally) on the premises that were nutritious. We had an in house Nurse on duty full time. We loved our teachers and so students learned to love learning and respect authorities and our country. No religion of any kind was offered to not offend anyone not of the same religion. We were integrated.

     Everything now that is cut from schools takes away from expanding a child's mind, cheats them and cheats our own futures too as a country!

     No one had to bring a thing but themselves to school. More was spent on (per) student than anywhere else in the country. We had the best education in the world there.
    Bic donated Pens, and we were assigned ( each child annually) our own new box of crayons, books etc. The school was beautiful.

    Now, over the years all schools have been systematically gutted from federal funding, which drives up local taxes. In poor areas now, schools suffer, education suffers,as the poor tend to congregate, out of necessity. Federal funding is at a minimum now. That was, and is, the single cause of failure today.
    We're cheating our kids and this was meant to happen to public schools to sell the idea of, "outsourcing education and Charter schools".
    We don't need these if we demand federal funding be returned to children's education equally. Make it be a Federal law that no Party can change, period!
     Feed children in school at lunch, educate them, and watch what they can give back as adults!

    Why spend billions on a Military if we're killing our kids and under educating them, offering them no future, no education, no hope?

    Our security as a nation lies in our children's future and mostly our children's education. Fix this, and watch them fly and watch our country grow.

    It's not fair to blame teachers.
    They are professionals who had to go to college to become teachers, yet today are treated badly, under respected, abused and have to supply their own children school supplies out of their ever shrinking pay. Many good teachers have left the profession or aren't choosing to be teachers for good reason.

    We should ALL be ashamed of allowing these federal cuts to schools and then,  "blaming students and or teachers for the bad outcomes and test scores."

    Children are born to learn. They naturally love learning. Under funding schools, under paying teachers and allowing local education, especially in poor areas to crumble, as our roads have; and transfers of funding to Military corporations is the cause of much of these cuts.

    The GOP and past Democrat's demand outsourcing everything and there is NO PROOF this insures a better education or better scores. Facts prove this. Scores today prove this.
    American public schools used to be the best. The only thing that changed was who was in charge of funding.
    We used to know children are the future.
    Now they're starved, abused and programs are cut.

    A fraction of the funding for Military spending could change this back to what it was, what it should be.
    We must demand federal funding be put back into local schools at the same level % wise as before, per child, period!
    If not, don't blame kids, don't blame teachers, and don't expect better scores and out comes. The system now is designed to attract the worst teachers, because teachers pay and benefits are gutted as well.

    I'm not one to say, "GO backwards"..but in this case. Our children were our future then and still are. Now they're taught there is no hope and education is a joke, except in wealthy neighborhoods. Pay the same amount of federal taxes per student regardless of local funding, and watch things change.

  •  missing the point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Temmoku

    Standarized tests are designed to making teachers smart, allowing them to refine their lessons by assessing their aim. Teachers teach to the test because they're used as a(n inaccurate) indicator or learning proficiency and they're trying to make the most of the limited resources they're given. Teachers are the best part of the whole messy system and do not deserve to bear the brunt of the burden.

  •  Wait, how can you increase things like (0+ / 0-)

    verbal fluency by educational intervention?

    I suppose you could have students practice verbal fluency a lot so they could develop useful strategies—thereby invalidating the test—but what would be the benefit of that?

    In my world, anyway, verbal fluency per se isn't something you would want to try to improve. If teachers were trying to improve students' scores on verbal fluency tests, I would want testers to come up with variants in fluency testing that would circumvent whatever they were teaching, in order to reveal the underlying baseline. Personally, I'd rather student be taught knowledge and useful life skills, than how to score high on a verbal fluency test.

    Or maybe I've just missed the joke (but I see no snark tag).

  •  What do standardized tests measure? (0+ / 0-)

    As the director of an honors program at a state university in Connecticut, I played a major role in selecting students and tracking their achievement. I came to the conclusion that the best predictor of success was rank in high school class, whether the school had strict standards or not. I also came to the conclusion that SAT scores, except for outliers, was evidence of a facility in taking SAT exams, but little else. Students with high SAT scores and low class rank inevitably flunked out of the program in their first semester. There is the story of an expert familiar with the SAT who got 24 out of 25 SAT answers correct without reading the questions! I suspect that success on standardized tests similarly indicates an ability to do well on standardized tests and little else. I was once hired to improve the writing skills of college freshmen and was offered a permanent position when their test scores improved remarkably. But I knew, but did not volunteer, that what had improved was not their writing but their test-taking ability!

  •  Using the kind of "science" conservatives use (0+ / 0-)

    I have come to a shocking conclusion:
    We test kids more than ever before in the history of education in this country.  And the tests reveal that kids are dumber than ever before.

    Correlation = causation, ergo:  Testing kids makes them dumber.

    It's the Observer Effect where measuring a system alters that system.

    You're welcome.

    I want my government to be big enough to drown Grover Norquist in a bathtub.

    by sercanet on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 05:05:33 AM PST

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