The Answer Sheet: Test Scores


Posted at 04:01 AM ET, 03/14/2014

How ‘platooning’ and data walls are changing elementary school

Not in a good way.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:01 AM ET, 03/14/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Test Scores

Posted at 05:07 PM ET, 12/18/2013

What does rise in D.C. test scores really mean? Not much.

The increase in scores sounds impressive, but there are big questions about why they happened.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:07 PM ET, 12/18/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Test Scores

Posted at 06:29 PM ET, 11/22/2013

International test scores: Getting the data straight

Here is the third post in a debate about the relative importance of international test scores as measures of the quality of U.S. public education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:29 PM ET, 11/22/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  International Test Scores

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 11/20/2013

A debate: What do international test scores tell us?

What’s the link between education and the economy?

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 11/20/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  International Test Scores

Posted at 02:09 PM ET, 11/14/2013

The fetishization of international test scores

How we make something seem important even when it isn’t.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:09 PM ET, 11/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Test Scores

Posted at 04:01 AM ET, 09/12/2013

What does ‘quality teacher’ mean anyway?

Have school reformers too narrowly defined the term?

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:01 AM ET, 09/12/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Is It All About Raising Test Scores, Is It All About Test Scores?, Teacher preparation

Posted at 10:02 AM ET, 09/10/2013

Good or bad? New rating system can’t decide about this principal

Three glaring problems with a new teacher evaluation system, including giving two different scores to a single principal.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:02 AM ET, 09/10/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Based on Test Scores, Controversial Educator Assessment, Teacher Assessment

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 06/13/2013

How test scores can be deceiving

They can seem to indicate one thing when they actually mean another.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:02 AM ET, 06/13/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  School Reform, Study on Massachusetts Reform, Test Scores

Posted at 12:57 PM ET, 12/11/2012

What international test scores really mean

Here we go again. New international test scores were released today and their meaning are in the eye of the interpreter. Here are some headlines from different new sites with some different takes on the results -- and one headline you didn't see but should.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:57 PM ET, 12/11/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  International Tests, Test Scores, The Headline You Didn't See

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 01/24/2011

Test scores and economic competitiveness

What does international economic competitiveness have to do with kids’ test scores? Not much.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:00 AM ET, 01/24/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  international competitiveness, international test scores, pisa scores, test scores, u.s. economy

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 12/23/2010

Test scores can't prove whether teacher experience matters

People such as Bill Gates and Arne Duncan who say teacher experience doesn't matter much are relying on standardized test scores for evidence, even though the tests fail to provide adequate evidence for drawing such a conclusion.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 12/23/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  arne duncan, standardized tests, teacher assessment, teacher evalution, teachers, test scores

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 12/15/2010

Principal seeks to replace student body, improve scores

A principal asks the Kansas state commissioner of education to replace the entire student body at high school with students from another high school where test scores are higher. Yes, it's fake news, and yes, you will laugh and cry.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 12/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Laugh and cry | Tags:  fake news, mr. teachbad, test scores

Posted at 04:43 PM ET, 12/14/2010

How Shanghai topped PISA rankings -- and why it's not big news in China

Q) How did Shanghai students, participating in a high-profile international exam for the first time, able to land at the top of the math, reading and science rankings? A) An obsession with test taking, to the exclusion of a lot of other things. Diane Ravitch and Yong Zhao explain.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:43 PM ET, 12/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests | Tags:  Yong Zhao, diane ravitch, finland and pisa, international test comparisons, international test rankings, international test scores, pisa, pisa rankings, pisa results, shanghai and pisa, shanghai students, u.s. performance on international tests, u.s. performance on pisa

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 12/13/2010

Willingham: What causes performance decline across grades?

Cognitive scientist looks at why student performance declines across grades.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 12/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  arne duncan, daniel willingham, pirls, pisa, pisa scores, test scores, timss

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/13/2010

A Felliniesque education story

A veteran teacher writes that if today's education debate seems Felliniesque, don’t worry; you have not lost your senses. "What is apparent, however, is that the people who run the show have."

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  david steiner, fellini, how to assess teachers, merryl tisch, new york board of education, nyc schools, releasing test scores, standardized tests, teacher assessment, teachers, test scores released

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 12/12/2010

What international test scores really tell us: Lessons buried in PISA report

Buried in the data report about the latest international results of PISA are lessons that show how U.S. education policy is failing.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:30 AM ET, 12/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  PISA, PISA scores, U.S. PISA scores, arne duncan, education policy, how u.s. fares in international rankings, international rankings, international test scores, obama education policy, pisa, the american dream

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/07/2010

Assessing teachers without fetishizing test-based reforms

An educator writes that policymakers are fetishizing student scores on standardized tests and using them as a crutch rather than turning to sensible solutions to improve public schools. There are better ways to assess teacher quality, he says.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  assessing teachers, los angeles times, no child left behind, race to the top, standardized tests, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation, test scores, value added

Posted at 06:09 PM ET, 11/18/2010

The NAEP scores problem

When you live by test scores, you run the risk of dying by them too -- or, at least, the policies that dictated their importance should.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:09 PM ET, 11/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, Education Secretary Duncan | Tags:  arne duncan, education secretary arne duncan, naep, naep scores, national assessment of educational progress, standardized tests, test scores

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 10/06/2010

Ravitch: Why teachers should never be rated by test scores

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes: "...Value-added assessment should not be used at all. Never. It has a wide margin of error. It is unstable. A teacher who is highly effective one year may get a different rating the next year depending on which students are assigned to his or her class. Ratings may differ if the tests differ. To the extent it is used, it will narrow the curriculum and promote teaching to tests. Teachers will be mislabeled and stigmatized. Many factors that influence student scores will not be counted at all."

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 10/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch | Tags:  diane ravitch, how to assess teache, l.a. times, l.a. times database, los angeles times, ravitch book, rigoberto ruelas, school reform, teacher and suicide, teacher assessment, teacher commits suicide, teacher database, teacher evaluation, teachers, test scores, value added

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 09/16/2010

Study shows test score improvements

For those who follow test scores, here's a new study of five years of assessment trends showing that U.S. 4th and 8th graders are doing better in reading and math than they were in 2005. It’s not just according to the states’ own tests used for No Child Left Behind accountability, but also according to the federally sponsored National Assessment of Educational Progress.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:30 AM ET, 09/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests | Tags:  center on education progress, jack jenningers, study on test scores, test scores, test scores increase, test scores rising, test scores up

Posted at 11:13 AM ET, 08/07/2010

Why you should be skeptical about standardized test scores

A Columbia University teacher writes about the problems with our faith our standardized test scores: "Yes, we 'just' need better tests. But creating better tests is very hard and very expensive. And in a system as vast and complex as ours, it’ll be tempting to continue using tests that can be graded quickly and that don’t look very different from the ones we now use. But without a radically different approach to standardized testing in this country, we are unlikely to get different results."

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:13 AM ET, 08/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  in, obama and education, obama's education policies, rhe, rhee fires teachers, standardized test scores, using standardized tests for high stakes decisions

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 08/04/2010

Ravitch: Mayoral control means zero accountability

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes about how mayoral control in New York City -- and other cities -- has hardly proven to be the panacea for urban ills that its advocates once contended.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 08/04/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, Education Secretary Duncan, Education Secretary Duncan, Education Secretary Duncan, Education Secretary Duncan | Tags:  bloomberg and schools, diane ravitch, klein and schools, mayoral control, new york city schools, new york city test scores, new york state test results, ny test scores

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 08/03/2010

Proficiency should mean college ready—and an acceptance letter

Robert Pondiscio writes about the damage done by the test proficiency bubble in New York: "Here’s the dirty little secret about proficiency. There’s not much upside in being honest."

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 08/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  new york and proficient, new york test scores, proficiency and test scores

Posted at 11:59 AM ET, 07/19/2010

New test scoring problems for Pearson

On the heels of a fiasco in Florida with scoring the state achievement tests, NCS Pearson has a new scoring problem, this time in Minnesota. Here's a list of similar problems, underscoring why using standardized test scores for high-stakes decisions is wrong.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:59 AM ET, 07/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests | Tags:  FCAT results delayed, FCAT scores delayed, FairTEST, fairtest, minnesota test scores delayed, ncs pearson, pearson and FCAT, pearson and minnesota tests, pearson and scoring tests, standardized tests, test results delayed

Posted at 04:30 PM ET, 07/13/2010

Rhee’s problem with D.C.’s new test scores

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee has a problem, and it’s not the fact that elementary school standardized test scores just went down (at, it is worth noting, a bad time for Mayor Adrian Fenty, who appointed her and is seeking re-election).

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:30 PM ET, 07/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  CAS scores in d.c., d.c. CAS, d.c. schools, d.c. standardized tests, d.c. test scores down, d.c. test scores mixed, d.c. test scores rise, fairtest, michelle rhee and reform, monty neill, rhee and test scores, tmichscho

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 07/09/2010

The problem with linking phys ed to academics

Sure, physical education has been linked to academic achievement. But why should it be? Isn't being physically fit a goal unto itself?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 07/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  benefits of physical education, guest bloggers, health, pe and academics, physical education, physical education and academics, physical education and test scores, sean slade, teaching to the whole child, the whole child

Posted at 03:31 PM ET, 06/25/2010

Extremism in school reform is not a virtue

A longtime educator says it is time to recognize the complexity of the challenges presented by ailing school districts and to avoid simplistic, extreme positions which seem so popular today.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:31 PM ET, 06/25/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  charter schools and teachers, colorado and teachers law, eliminating teacher tenure, merit pay and teachers, teacher tenure, teacher tenure and reform, teachers and accountability, teachers pay and test scores, value of teacher tenure

Posted at 11:12 AM ET, 06/11/2010

Florida education chief ‘outraged’ at Pearson

Florida’s Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith has blasted NCS Pearson for a big delay in the reporting of the results of the 2010 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, saying that he is “outraged” and calling it “absolutely unacceptable.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:12 AM ET, 06/11/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests | Tags:  delay in test scores, fcat, florida comprehensive assessment test, pearson and florida

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 06/08/2010

Study: N.Y. teacher performance pay program flops

On the heels of a study about an ineffective program in Chicago linking student test scores to teacher pay, here's another one, with the same results, from a New York program. Do you see a pattern?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 06/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  No Child Left Behind, No Child Left Behind, No Child Left Behind | Tags:  d.c. teachers contract, merit pay, michelle rhee, nclb, performance pay, teachers, teachers performance pay, test scores and pay

Posted at 05:00 PM ET, 06/02/2010

Must we link P.E. (and everything else) to test scores?

Is there nothing in education today that we do not feel the need to justify through improved standardized test scores? A new report is out about physical education in public schools. The news is not good.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 PM ET, 06/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Health, Health, Health | Tags:  american heart association, let's move, michelle obama, michelle obama's anti-obesity campaign, obama and get Fit, obesity, obesity epidemic, physical activity and health, physical education, physical education and test scores, recommended physical education guidelines, standardized test scores

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 05/16/2010

Princeton Reviews takes down ad claims

The Princeton Review test prep company has voluntarily agreed to stop making certain advertising claims about how many points it can help students improve on various school admissions tests.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 05/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions, College Admissions | Tags:  Kaplan and ads, Princeton Review, Princeton Review and ads, claims by Princeton Review, claims by test prep companies, college admissions, getting better scores on tests, improving test scores, standardized tests, test claims, test prep companies