The Answer Sheet: Standardized Tests


Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 08/11/2011

The link between ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ and testing

What does the film Rise of the Planet of the Apes have with standardized testing? Watch the movie and you quickly realize things aren’t going well for the humans. In both cases, people ignore warning signs telling them of danger ahead.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 08/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/02/2011

March Madness: 'My name is Luke and I refuse to take your test'

A father writes that his 11-year-old has spent this year in school getting ready for this month's Pennsylvania standardized assessment tests rather than pursuing intellectually stimulating classroom experiences. Now he wonders if he should ask his son to boycott the tests.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 03/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Standardized Tests | Tags:  bartleby project, penn state, pennsylvania assessments, rube goldberg, standardized tests

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/02/2011

Obama's mistimed Miami school visit -- with Jeb Bush

What a tag team. At a time when Wisconsin teachers are protesting to keep their collective bargaining rights, President Obama is traveling to Florida to share a stage with the anti-union Jeb Bush, the former governor who led corporate-driven, standardized test-obsessed school reform and tried to reduce teachers union influence.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform, Standardized Tests | Tags:  arne duncan, president obama, president obama and teachers, rick scott, scott walker, wisconsin protests, wisconsin teachers

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 01:53 PM ET, 12/14/2010

College Board promotes holiday gift of ... test prep!

You can stop worrying what to get your teenager for Christmas. The non-profit College Board has a suggestion: test prep!

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:53 PM ET, 12/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests | Tags:  christmas gifts, college board, college board and sat, sat, sat test, sat test prep, test prep, test prep courses

Posted at 04:27 PM ET, 12/07/2010

Hysteria over PISA misses the point

Reaction in the United States to the PISA results -- in which American 15 year olds scored essentially average in reading, math and science -- was swift, sharp, and perhaps hysterical. But it missed the big point: No Child Left Behind didn't do anything to improve things.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:27 PM ET, 12/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests | Tags:  international comparisons, nclb, no child left behind, pisa, pisa rankings, pisa reaction, u.s. scoring on pisa, where u.s. ranks in pisa

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 12/07/2010

Sample PISA questions given to 15-year-olds

Here are some sample questions given to 15-year-old students on the PISA exam. Test yourself.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:30 AM ET, 12/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests | Tags:  international comparisons, pisa, pisa questions, pisa results, sample questions

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/06/2010

Do international test comparisons make sense?

Tomorrow we will learn the latest results of a major international test, and we can expect a lot of angst over the ranking of U.S. students. Before the hullabalo starts, let's look back at what Gerald Bracey thought about international comparisons. The short answer: Not much.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests | Tags:  gerald bracey, how u.s. students fare internationally, how u.s. students rank, international comparisons, pisa, standardized tests, timss, u.s. comparisons internationally

Posted at 03:16 PM ET, 11/20/2010

Testing scandal claims Atlanta schools superintendent

Atlanta schools Superintendent Beverly Hall bows for her to step down amid a major standardized testing scandal and says she won't return next year.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:16 PM ET, 11/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests | Tags:  atlanta, atlanta superintendent, atlanta superintendentn resigns, atlanta tests, crct, criterion referenced competency tests, georgia scandal, georgia testing scandal, hall, hall resigns, standardized tests, testing scandal

Posted at 10:57 AM ET, 11/16/2010

Experts: How to overhaul teacher ed (and my problem with their report)

A major report released today calls for overhauling teacher education programs. It offers a number of strong recommendations, but, unfortunately, continues a reliance on standardized tests.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:57 AM ET, 11/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests | Tags:  blue ribbon panel, blue ribbon panel report, education programs need overhauling, effective teachers, preparing teachers, report on clinical practice, report on teacher education, report on teacher preparation, standardized tests, teacher assessment, teacher ed, teacher education, teacher education programs, teacher education through clinical practice, teacher preparation, teacher quality

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 11:59 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 11:02 AM ET, 07/15/2010

Florida's FCAT scandal -- the next chapter

Let’s go to Florida for the latest entry in the category of “you can’t make up this stuff.” Here's the latest twist in the scandal over the state's 2010 standardized test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:02 AM ET, 07/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests | Tags:  FCAT, eric smith, florida comprehensive assessment test, florida education department, ncs pearson, pearson and fcats, problems with fcats, standardized tests

Posted at 03:02 PM ET, 07/13/2010

Florida standardized test results challenged

Six of Florida's largest counties formally protest the results of the state's 2010 standardized test.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:02 PM ET, 07/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests | Tags:  FCAT, FCAT scores and anomalies, challenge to FCAT scores, problems with FCAT, standardized tests in florida

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 06/24/2010

A better way to evaluate students and schools

Here is a proposal for a robust and effective assessment and evaluation system for students and schools that would include three key components: limited large-scale standardized testing, extensive school-based evidence of learning, and a school quality review process.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:30 AM ET, 06/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests | Tags:  accountability in schools, accountablity, assessment, fairtest, how to assess statements, how to evaluate schools, monty neill, multiple measures and student assessment, student assessment through multiple measures, teacher evaluation system, the accountability movement

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 06/16/2010

The story behind rise in Texas test scores

Good news: Texas schoolchildren performed better on the 2010 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills this year than they did last, according to preliminary results released this month. Bad news: It turns out that students could pass the test answering fewer questions correctly than in 2009.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 06/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests | Tags:  TAKS, TAKS results, Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, high-stakes testing and Texas, standardized test results, standardized tests

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 03:15 PM ET, 06/07/2010

Standardized testing follies in Florida

A major testing company is having myriad problems scoring the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests, just one more reason that standardized tests should not be used for high-stakes decisions.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:15 PM ET, 06/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests | Tags:  FCAT problems, florida comprehensive assessment tests, pearson and FCAT, pearson and testing, problems scoring FCAT, standardized testing, standardized tests and florida, the miami herald and testing

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 05/28/2010

Why involve Michelle Obama in anti-test campaign?

I published a guest post yesterday about a postcard campaign starting today by a coalition of non-profit groups to try to persuade First Lady Michelle Obama to talk to her husband about changing his administration’s education policy on high-stakes standardized...

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:30 AM ET, 05/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 05/27/2010

Postcards to Mrs. Obama: End high-stakes testing

Organizations opposed to high-stakes standardized tests are starting a postcard-writing campaign aimed at persuading First Lady Michelle Obama to "encourage" President Obama to end the use of high stakes tests. Lisa Guisbond of FairTest writes about the effort.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:00 PM ET, 05/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests | Tags:  FairTest, fairtest, high-stakes standardized tests, michelle obama and tests, mrs. obama and standardized tests, no child left behind, obama and nclb, obama and race to the top, postcard campaign, postcard campaign to mrs. obama, postcards to first lady, postcards to michelle obama, postcards to mrs. obama, race to the top, standardized tests, standardized tests and results, the problem with race to the top, time out for testing

Posted at 11:59 AM ET, 05/27/2010

What’s wrong with standardized tests?

Standardized tests are used for so many purposes in schools today that it can be easy to forget why they shouldn’t be used as an exclusive measure to determine anything of importance. Let's review why

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:59 AM ET, 05/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests | Tags:  dangers of high-stakes standardized tests, high-stakes standardized tests, obama administration and school reform, obama and standardized tests, obama and tests, standardized tests

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 05/21/2010

How to combine learning, assessment, accountability

By Lisa Guisbond and Monty Neill.... It’s a great irony of the current accountability movement that policies like No Child Left Behind starve our children of time to think, create and learn in order to measure them with simplistic tests.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 05/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests | Tags:  accountability and nclb, accountability movement, assessment and accountability, fairtest, lisa guisbond, monty neill, no child left behind, standardized tests

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 05/12/2010

Teachers refuse to give standardized tests to kids

Maybe there is a lesson in this for American teachers. Saying that they are sick and tired of forcing kids to take standardized tests, thousands of teachers in England are refusing to administer high-stakes standardized tests in English and math this week.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 05/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests | Tags:  boycott in Britain, standardized tests, teachers, teachers boycott test, test boycott

Posted at 01:15 PM ET, 05/11/2010

Horse, then cart, on teacher evaluation -- Hess

American Enterprise Institute's Frederick M. Hess writes about why Colorado's school reform bill is in one sense a giant step forward, but is overreaching in an "impatient rush to 'fix' teacher quality in one furious burst."

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:15 PM ET, 05/11/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests | Tags:  Colorado and teachers, Colorado school reform, Frederick Hess, Rick Hess, standardized tests, teacher assessment, teachers

Posted at 04:22 PM ET, 01/18/2010

More to education than data

Here's Diane Ravitch's response to a post I did last week about Teach for America. In that post, I had noted that “Teach For America” founder Wendy Kopp went to Capitol Hill to talk new research on effective teachers. Using test score data, the nonprofit organization--which recruits college graduates to teach in low-income schools for two years--has determined that effective teachers are those that employ the same strategies as successful leaders in any field. Read what Ravitch thinks of the findings.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:22 PM ET, 01/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests | Tags:  Diane Ravitch, NCLB, Teach For America

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 11/30/2009

More standardized testing nightmares

A story I told recently about getting all of the answers on a standardized test wrong and being diagnosed with “overcomprehension” when I was in second grade elicited some great responses from dozens of you. Here are some of your test horror stories about testing--and at the end, one that the author calls “the ultimate” such disaster.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 11/30/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests | Tags:  standardized tests

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 11/18/2009

A critical look at the SAT and ACT

Of all the trials facing high school students, the one that may be the most daunting is taking the SAT and/or the ACT college admissions tests. The results can determine where they attend college, making these exams, and the organizations that own them, very powerful. In an effort to better understand these tests, I had an e-mail conversation with Bob Schaeffer, public education director of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, known as FairTest. The tension between the nonprofit College Board, which owns the SAT, and FairTest is palpable: I asked the College Board to debate Schaeffer, but it refused, saying he was not a valid critic.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 11/18/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests | Tags:  FairTest, college admissions

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 10/23/2009

What teachers think about their jobs, testing

Federal officials take note: A new study shows that 40 percent of the country’s 4 million K-12 teachers are “disheartened” with their jobs and the vast majority think there is too much standardized testing and that it is a “drawback” to teaching.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 10/23/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Standardized Tests, Standardized Tests | Tags:  standardized testing, teachers