Class Struggle: state tests

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 12/23/2009

One way to reduce standardized test load--make them shorter

If the common core standards are ready this spring, Paul says, the first tests based on them should be given to everyone the following spring. This can be done by including in the first tests just those elements that are ready to go, and add more complex features later.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 12/23/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Accelerated Reader, Terry Paul, computer adaptive tests, formative tests, shortening tests, state tests, summative tests

Posted at 11:22 AM ET, 11/19/2009

Portfolio exams--wave of the future or big cop-out?

It is clear to me, and I suspect to most readers, that this system inflates achievement scores. Of course, so has the assessment system we have been using in schools since the beginning of public education---teachers grading their own students' work. We seemed to have prospered as a nation despite giving many struggling students a break on their report cards. I don't think portfolios used in this limited way are going to ruin the effort to set strong national standards, but I think it is going to give a big push to the idea of introducing independent inspectors to assess the effectiveness of schools and teachers.

By Jay Mathews  |  11:22 AM ET, 11/19/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  England's school inspection system, Richard Rothstein, Virginia Grade Level Alternative, inflated achievement levels, inflated scores, portfolio exams, school inspectors, state tests