Weekly Digest #12: How to Make Standardized Testing Better

Weekly Digest #12: How to Make Standardized Testing Better

Last week, we published a digest of divergent views on standardized testing. Realistically, though, you’re unlikely to be reading our blog if you’re truly dead set against any kind of standardized testing – and in fact, let’s not forget the important point that any kind of test is actually standardized.

So let’s take as a basic assumption the idea that we do need some form of standardized assessment in order to determine whether schools are doing their jobs and students are learning. Given this assumption, how can we improve the process? Luckily, in the past few weeks, a few great blog posts have sprung up to address this very issue.

 
Image from linked source

Image from linked source

In this short post, the infamous teacher-turned-columnist David describes what he would do if he was the testing czar, in 5 simple steps. Briefly, he says he would select a small sample of students at the beginning of the year, and another small sample at the end, and only test them.

 

2) A Bold Proposal by Jack Marwood, @Jack_Marwood

Delving deeply into the history and purpose of standardized testing in the UK, The pseudonymous “Jack Marwood” calls for a “sensible, low stakes method of tracking pupil performance over time”.

Image from linked source

Image from linked source

 

3) Don't panic about tests by Martin Robinson, @Trivium21c

In this very sensible piece, Martin begs teachers to be sensible, too – and stop spreading the high anxiety that surrounds standardized tests to children. In addition, Martin also calls for more testing – not less! – in order to reduce stakes and normalize the experience.

Image from Pixabay.com

Image from Pixabay.com

 

4) Increase our Assessment Literacy by Jenn Borgioli,  @JennBinis

In this thought-provoking piece that focus more on the US education system, Jenn urges all of us to seek out our own information about standardized tests before forming an opinion. Perhaps by being more informed, Jenn argues, we could all make assessment a little bit better. As an aside, if you have any interested whatsoever in assessment, we highly recommend following Jenn on Twitter for her thoughtful, balanced, and terrifically well-informed tweets.

Image from Pixabay.com

Image from Pixabay.com

 

5) What Schools Could Use Instead Of Standardized Tests by Anya Kamenetz, @anya1anya

In this NPR blog post, Anya suggests 4 different types of alternatives to standardized tests. While we don't agree with all of them, they are certainly interesting to think about and evaluate.

Image from Pixabay.com

Image from Pixabay.com


Every Sunday, we pick a theme and provide a curated list of links. If you have a theme suggestion, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Our 5 most recent digests can be found here:

Weekly Digest #7: Grading And Giving Feedback On Homework Assignments

Weekly Digest #8: Study Tips for Students

Weekly Digest #9: How To Talk About Learning Styles

Weekly Digest #10: How to Grade Writing Assignments

Weekly Digest #11: Revisiting Standardized Testing

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