Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The enemy is us ...

Standardized testing:
"I have no problem with that."
"We need the results faster."
"We need a growth model."
"Value-added? Where do I sign up for the conference?"
"The tests will take care of themselves if we do the right thing by kids."
"Our school goal is to raise our reading test scores by 5%."
"We need to have a handle on how our schools are doing."
"The tests need to be web-based for quicker turn-around to teachers."
"Exciting - quarterly tests with 24 hour turn-around that predict how the kids will do on the NCLB tests?"

Have you said any of these?  I have to admit I have said one of them.  And look what we have created, by not sending a clear message. We knew it all along.  Come on.  We learned it in undergrad, elaborated in grad school, read it in our professional journals, had it reinforced in PD.  The tests do not serve kids.  Say it.  Good.  Lather, rinse repeat.  Wiggins, Stiggins, McTighe, et. al.  Educational Leadership, The School Administrator, etc.

We have states, districts, schools, and teachers rated by tests.
We have them published on school websites, by the popular media, on State Department websites.
Now, we have teachers being compensated based on them.  Teachers and Principals losing their jobs over them.

AT BEST, THE TESTS ARE A ROUGH SCREENING INDICATOR OF WHERE A SCHOOL/TEAM/TEACHER NEED TO EXPLORE FURTHER. AT BEST!

Borrowing from the politicians, we need to get back on message.

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