The Answer Sheet: Standardized Tests


Posted at 03:39 PM ET, 03/25/2014

Resistance to standardized testing growing nationwide

It’s happening across the country.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:39 PM ET, 03/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:29 PM ET, 03/12/2014

Video: Kids with severe disabilities taking mandatory standardized test

And then read a principal’s letter about why it is a travesty that these kids with severe disabilities have to take the test.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:29 PM ET, 03/12/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 03/03/2014

Why school isn’t for children anymore -- teacher

The Ohio teaching veteran says standardized testing has twisted public education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 03/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:09 PM ET, 11/12/2013

Maryland teacher petitions to cancel state standardized test

Why it makes sense.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:09 PM ET, 11/12/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:02 AM ET, 10/10/2013

Why reading test scores flatten out in 12th grade

E.D. Hirsch, Jr. explains a fundamental problem with standardized reading tests.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:02 AM ET, 10/10/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:01 PM ET, 10/09/2013

The first sentence says it all

Small-scale protest against test-based school reform turns to 'earthquake' in Buffalo.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:01 PM ET, 10/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:31 PM ET, 10/06/2013

A teacher's troubling account of giving a 106-question standardized test to 11 year olds

Here’s the step-by-step deconstruction of how she gave the test and how her kids reacted.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:31 PM ET, 10/06/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:31 AM ET, 09/08/2013

How one great teacher was wronged by flawed evaluation system

This is what is really happening to teachers.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:31 AM ET, 09/08/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:22 PM ET, 09/04/2013

Seven facts you should know about new Common Core tests

How much will these standardized tests really change public education?

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:22 PM ET, 09/04/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:02 AM ET, 08/22/2013

D.C. charter schools to give standardized tests to young children

D.C. public charter schools will soon be giving new standardized tests to very young children -- aged 3, 4 and 5 -- for high-stakes purposes.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:02 AM ET, 08/22/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 08/20/2013

Student test scores now linked to teachers' licenses

Reformers find a new way to misuse student standardized test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:02 AM ET, 08/20/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 08/12/2013

How come officials could predict new test score results?

Are "cut scores" are set to get specific results? Here's a primer.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:50 AM ET, 08/12/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:01 AM ET, 08/07/2013

What big drop in new standardized test scores really means

The opening of Charles Dickens's "Hard Times" is a chilling and uncanny allegory for the data-driven, test-obsessed reforms that are now overwhelming our schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:01 AM ET, 08/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:02 AM ET, 08/06/2013

Five absurdities about high-stakes standardized tests

Custodians evaluated by test scores, and much more.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:02 AM ET, 08/06/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:01 AM ET, 05/23/2013

NY principals: Why new Common Core tests failed

Principals detail the flaws of new high-stakes standardized tests in New York.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:01 AM ET, 05/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:01 AM ET, 05/08/2013

Eighth grader: What bothered me most about new Common Core test

A 14-year-old boy in New York details what he found so annoying about the new Common Core-aligned English test he and other students around the state just took.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:01 AM ET, 05/08/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 05/06/2013

The problem with Pearson-designed tests that threatens thousands of scores

'It's testing season in New York, which can mean only one thing: It's open season on Pearson, the corporation everyone loves to hate. But this time, when they crossed a serious line, far too many state leaders and reformers are holding their fire.'

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:02 PM ET, 05/06/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:02 AM ET, 05/06/2013

They made him take the test

Nobody in Florida with the power to do so stopped the state from forcing a 9-year-old boy named Michael, who was born with a brain stem but not a complete brain, from taking a standardized test.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:02 AM ET, 05/06/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:26 PM ET, 05/04/2013

Severe technical problems raise concerns over online tests

In several states online problems during test administration forced postponement and sparked new concerns about testing.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:26 PM ET, 05/04/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:31 AM ET, 05/02/2013

Hospitalized 4th grader, hooked up to machines, asked to take standardized test

Put this in the you-can't-make-up-this-stuff category.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:31 AM ET, 05/02/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:02 AM ET, 04/30/2013

Have standardized tests really helped kids learn more?

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:02 AM ET, 04/30/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 04/26/2013

Why the public should see questions on new standardized tests

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:02 AM ET, 04/26/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:52 PM ET, 04/24/2013

Students in D.C. region can't formally 'opt out' of standardized tests

Parents in some other states are formally "opting out" of high-stakes standardized tests and keeping their children at home on test days, but they can't in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:52 PM ET, 04/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:03 AM ET, 04/23/2013

Standardized test questions kids have to answer that don't even count

Parents and students may not know this, but all of the questions kids have to answer on standardized tests don't actually count. Here's why.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:03 AM ET, 04/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:02 AM ET, 04/22/2013

School warns students: No test, no sports

How's this for twisting students' arms to take high-stakes standardized tests?

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:02 AM ET, 04/22/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:02 AM ET, 04/22/2013

Pearson flubs test scoring for gifted-and-talented programs

Pearson, the world's largest education company, was just forced to apologize for making errors in its scoring of assessments for entry into gifted and talented programs in New York City public schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:02 AM ET, 04/22/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:54 AM ET, 04/20/2013

New standardized tests feature plugs for commercial products

And now, commercials on new high-stakes standardized tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:54 AM ET, 04/20/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 04/17/2013

Eighth grader designs standardized test that slams standardized tests

The reading passage starts: 'Dear New York State, I am not fond of your tests. They do not show you who I am, or who my teachers are....'

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:02 AM ET, 04/17/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 04/16/2013

Common Core testing begins in NY -- but are exams ready for prime time?

A testing expert explains why the new Common Core-aligned standardized tests that New York State students are starting to take are not really ready to be administered.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:02 AM ET, 04/16/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:02 AM ET, 04/16/2013

Teacher: Yes, the testing culture does contribute to cheating

An award-winning elementary school teacher writes the third part in something of a debate on the Atlanta test cheating scandal and what/who is to blame when educators cheat on student standardized tests.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:02 AM ET, 04/16/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:29 PM ET, 04/15/2013

Lawsuit: Stop evaluating teachers on test scores of students they never taught (2nd update)

A group of teachers and teachers unions are filing a lawsuit against Florida officials that challenges the state's educator evaluation system.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:29 PM ET, 04/15/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:12 PM ET, 04/14/2013

How they cheated on D.C. tests: Excerpts from new report

How many ways did D.C. educators cheat on the 2102 high-stakes Comprehensive Assessment System tests given to students?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:12 PM ET, 04/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:11 AM ET, 04/14/2013

Probe of past D.C. test cheating called 'impractical' (update)

The D.C. Council's Education Committee will discuss the standardized test cheating scandal at a previously scheduled hearing on Thursday that, ironically, was intended to be about about test security .

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:11 AM ET, 04/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:02 PM ET, 04/11/2013

The test didn't make them cheat

A leading educator takes issue with Bill Ayers' post which said the road to the Atlanta cheating scandal "runs through the White House.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:02 PM ET, 04/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:47 PM ET, 04/07/2013

Principal warns parents: 'Don't buy the bunk' about new Common Core tests

Parents will soon be told whether their children are "on the road" to college readiness based on cut scores on tests of the new Common Core standards. But there is no evidence the scores will have any meaning.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:47 PM ET, 04/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:04 PM ET, 04/07/2013

Mom: Why I won't let my son take high-stakes standardized test

" As test prep ramped up in February and March I had another revelation: Jacob does not love to read. Based on what he was bringing home from school, how could he? I realized that if I wanted to help him to love to read I had to take off the pressure that was coming from the PSSA."

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:04 PM ET, 04/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:02 AM ET, 04/03/2013

Bill Ayers: Road to Atlanta cheating scandal 'runs right through White House'

Longtime educator Bill Ayers focuses on federal school reform policies that led to the Atlanta cheating scandal.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:02 AM ET, 04/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:32 PM ET, 04/02/2013

Why Common Core tests won't be what Arne Duncan promised

How much better will the next generation of standardized tests, aligned to the Common Core standards, really be?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:32 PM ET, 04/02/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:02 PM ET, 03/30/2013

List of charges against 35 in Atlanta test cheating indictment

Here's the release issued by the Fulton County District Attorney's Office in Georgia with details and a list of charges in the Atlanta test cheating indictment.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:02 PM ET, 03/30/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:11 AM ET, 03/30/2013

Atlanta's former schools chief charged under law used against Mafia

A law used against members of the Gambino crime family is being used against a former superintendent of Atlanta schools in a massive test cheating scandal. Who is next?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:11 AM ET, 03/30/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:54 PM ET, 03/21/2013

Louisiana wants to link student funding to test scores

Just when you think there are no other ways to pervert the use of high-stakes standardized test scores, school reformers show just how creative they are.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:54 PM ET, 03/21/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:23 PM ET, 03/19/2013

Sixty percent of adults who took standardized test bombed

The bottom line: Sixty percent bombed the test. Translation: Most adults who took a student standardized test pretty much flunked it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:23 PM ET, 03/19/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:21 PM ET, 03/14/2013

What happened when a Rhode Island state senator took a student standardized test?

A Rhode Island state senator was one of the first of some 50 adults who have agreed to take a version of the state's standardized test, part of an action aimed at protesting a new high school testing graduation requirement that students say is unfair.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:21 PM ET, 03/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:05 AM ET, 03/14/2013

Adults to take standardized test forced on students

Dozens of Rhode Island legislators, city officials, and other adults will take a version of the state's high-stakes standardized tests for students to focus attention on a new state graduation testing policy that is threatening to hold back large percentages of students.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:05 AM ET, 03/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:02 AM ET, 03/13/2013

The day some Seattle teachers said 'no' to standardized tests

It all started with one teacher. Here's the story of how the teachers at a Seattle high school decided to stop giving a state mandated standardized test.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:02 AM ET, 03/13/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/11/2013

Student protests against standardized tests spreading

Colorado students are planning to walk out of the state's mandatory assessment this week and protest at the state Capitol Building, the latest in growing student pushback against high-stakes tests.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 03/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:55 PM ET, 02/22/2013

Massachusetts professors protest high-stakes standardized tests

A coalition of more than 130 Massachusetts professors and researchers from at least 20 schools -- including Harvard -- signed a public statement opposing high-stakes standardized tests to assess students, teachers and schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:55 PM ET, 02/22/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:39 AM ET, 01/26/2013

Teacher boycott of standardized test in Seattle spreads

A boycott of Washington state's mandated standardized test by teachers at a Seattle school is spreading to other schools and winning support across the country, including from the two largest teachers' unions, parents, researchers and education activists.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:39 AM ET, 01/26/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:37 PM ET, 01/16/2013

Michelle Rhee and the missing memo

There's a new twist in the story about whether or not there was cheating on standardized tests in D.C. public schools during the period when Michelle Rhee was chancellor.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:37 PM ET, 01/16/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:28 AM ET, 01/11/2013

Teachers refuse to give standardized test at Seattle high schools -- Update

This appears to be a first: Teachers at a high school -- Garfield in Seattle -- have decided to refuse to give mandated standardized district tests called the Measures of Academy Progress because, they say, the exams don't evaluate learning and are a waste of time.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:28 AM ET, 01/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:09 PM ET, 11/30/2012

My kindergartener had 14 tests this year'

When one testing window closes, another one opens. We are in a constant state of testing," Madeline Kobayashi, a teacher at Philip Rogers Elementary School in Chicago, said at a townhall forum titled "The Culture of Testing" in Chicago Public Schools. Here's are video clips with some powerful testimony from teachers and parents

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:09 PM ET, 11/30/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:11 PM ET, 11/19/2012

Study: Homework linked to better standardized test scores

Researchers who looked at data from more than 18,000 10th-graders found little correlation between the time students spent doing homework and better grades in math and science courses. But they did find a positive relationship the time spent on homework and standardized test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:11 PM ET, 11/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:43 PM ET, 10/05/2012

Cheating scandal lands ex-schools chief in prison in El Paso

Former El Paso schools chief gets 3 1/2 years for raising cheating to a whole new level.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:43 PM ET, 10/05/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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)

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 02/02/2011

The Bartleby Project

A veteran educator writes about the country's obsession with standardized testing and what might be done about it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 02/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/26/2011

Things I’m sick of hearing

It’s time for school reformers to find new ways to attack their critics. It’s getting tiring hearing the same old refrains, which go something like this.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/13/2011

Are more high-stakes tests inevitable? A teacher says 'no'

A teacher writes that education reformers have promised far more than they can deliver, and that more testing is not inevitable as many teachers, students and parents fear.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 01/09/2011

How to be taken seriously as a reformer (don't be an educator)

In the current upside-down world of education policy, there's one foolproof strategy for being taken seriously as a reformer: Make sure you're not an educator. Here, an educator writes about what counts -- and what SHOULD count -- in the school reform debate.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 01/09/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/06/2011

A principal on standardized vs. teacher-written tests

Educator George Wood urges Congress not to rely on standardized tests to measure achievement. If you don't think that "data-driven decision-making" is really test-driven decision making, consider this: Ohio’s school report cards consist of 26 “data” points, and 24 of them—92%--are test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 01/05/2011

Resolutions someone should make for 2011

An educator offers some resolutions for the new year: That President Obama et al stop saying, "We are going to educate ourselves toward a 21st Century economy;" that people who really know about education appear on Oprah; that policy makers stop making standardized testing the gold standard of student achievement and teacher effectiveness; that we stop using corporate speak (game changer, incentivize) to talk about education. And more.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:30 PM ET, 01/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:36 PM ET, 01/03/2011

America’s disdain for its children

Americans don’t really think very much of their children. Not really. Just take a look at the world of education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:36 PM ET, 01/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 01/03/2011

The "bad teacher" bogeyman and its consequences

An educator dissects how the teaching profession is being attacked and what the consequences are for the country.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 01/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/22/2010

The lowdown on standardized tests and how they are scored

If you think machines score all of the standardized tests kids take, guess again. Rather, an army of low-paid, poorly trained temps score them. Test scorers tell the tale.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:05 PM ET, 12/21/2010

A sobering look at Florida school reform

With Florida increasingly being looked to as a national model for school reform, here's a clear-eyed look at exactly what has been going on in the Sunshine State.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:05 PM ET, 12/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 12/21/2010

How a teachers' union actually helped kids (not just adults)

You've probably heard a lot about how teacher unions are obstacles to meaningful school reforms, but you probably have NOT heard about this remarkable union-involved success story in California.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 12/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/15/2010

Standardized snake oil -- Brady

Educator Marion Brady writes: "Consider as failing every school – public, charter, private, whatever – that assumes that corporately produced, standardized tests say something important about something important."

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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)

Posted at 10:11 AM ET, 12/09/2010

How poverty affected U.S. PISA scores

How did the effects of poverty affect the latest scores on the Program for International Student Assessment, known as PISA?

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:11 AM ET, 12/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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)

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)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 11/29/2010

What Tom Friedman got wrong about schools and why it matters

The great New York Times columnist Tom Friedman wrote in a recent piece that if he were a cub reporter today, he’d want to be “covering the epicenter of national security -- but that would be the Education Department.” If Friedman the cub reporter had turned in this piece, a veteran education editor would have sent it back, asking him to back up his contentions with research. He’d have a hard time.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 11/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 11/24/2010

The mismatch between Duncan's words, actions

A veteran teacher writes an open letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, saying that the mismatch between Duncan's words and actions makes "a real consensus impossible."

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:30 AM ET, 11/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 11/22/2010

Hannah Arendt and the point of education

An award-winning veteran teacher reflects on the reasons we bother to educate children, and concludes that we have forgotten or never knew, because if we did, we wouldn't do it the way we do now. "I find I am becoming increasingly radicalized as I age," he writes.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 11/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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)

Posted at 12:46 PM ET, 11/20/2010

Why teaching experience really matters

Bill Gates just urged school districts and states to stop rewarding teachers for their experience in the classroom and/or advanced education degrees. Arne Duncan makes the same argument. But evidence shows that teaching experience DOES matter.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:46 PM ET, 11/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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)

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)

Posted at 03:30 PM ET, 11/02/2010

What Michelle Rhee did in D.C.: Point by point

Here's a final critique of Michelle Rhee's legacy as chancellor of D.C. public schools, point by point, by a former D.C. schools student and teacher.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:30 PM ET, 11/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:55 PM ET, 10/28/2010

How to evaluate students: Look at their work

The best way to find out what students know and can do is to look at their actual work, not by the results of a standardized test. Monty Neill looks at how a local assessment system can work.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:55 PM ET, 10/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 10/27/2010

Ravitch on how wrong 'Superman' really is

Education historian Diane Ravitch critiques the most basic things that Davis Guggenheim got wrong in 'Waiting for Superman.'

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:30 AM ET, 10/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 10/21/2010

English teacher: Data can drive us down wrong road

An English teacher writes: "Strict adherence to data-driven instruction can lead schools to push aside science and social studies to drill students on isolated reading benchmarks.... It is difficult to teach kids to read well if they don’t learn to enjoy reading. It is impossible to teach kids to read well while denying them the knowledge they need to make sense of complex material. Following the data often forces teachers to do just that."

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 10/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 10/19/2010

Reduce standardized testing to improve accountability, school quality

FairTest's Monty Neill writes that reducing the amount of standardized testing, and lowering the stakes connected to the result will result in more accountability and school quality.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 10/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:35 AM ET, 10/15/2010

The limits of Moco schools' economic integration study

There are big limits to the study released today showing that several hundred low-income students who went to school in low-poverty schools in Montgomery County did better on standardized math tests than kids who went to high-poverty schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:35 AM ET, 10/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:25 AM ET, 10/08/2010

Using 'School Quality Reviews' to improve schools

Here is the first of three articles that will describe an assessment and evaluation system for schools that its authors, Monty Neill and Gary Ratner, argue should replace No Child Left Behind's test-centric structure.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:25 AM ET, 10/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 09/20/2010

What Americans really think about public schools

In an era of unrelenting bashing of public education by “experts,” a new poll shows that most Americans actually like their neighborhood public schools -- though they don’t seem to like public schools in general -- and they have trust in teachers. And the Obama administration’s education agenda gets mixed reviews in the 2010 Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 09/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 09/17/2010

How the ACT caught up with the SAT

For more than 80 years, the SAT has been the nation’s dominant, standardized college admissions exam. This year – for the first time – as many students in the high school class of 2010 sat for the rival ACT as took the SAT. How did it happen?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 09/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 06/26/2010

Scary things in U.S. report on school vouchers

A new government report on a voucher program in Washington, D.C., is remarkable for what it says about things other than vouchers.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 06/26/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 04/28/2010

How to measure student growth

By Lisa Guisbond. Growth models are pitched as a thoroughly modern, scientific way to .answer the age-old parental question: “What did you learn in school this year, my dear?” It seems reasonable enough: Test students at the beginning and the end of the year and measure the “growth” in test scores to see if student achievement is improving. Given the narrow and limited nature of the data used to measure this growth, however, there’s often less than meets the eye in the results. Fortunately, there are better, if little known or understood, ways of both measuring and stimulating real growth in learning.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 04/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 04/23/2010

Who’s afraid of the TerraNova 2 test?

A Montgomery County mother writes about trying not to get stressed out about the standardized tests -- the TerraNova2 -- being given to public school kids next week. But, she finds, it isn't so easy.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 04/23/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 04/10/2010

Diane Ravitch’s letter to Florida lawmakers

Here is a letter that education historian Diane Ravitch wrote to Florida lawmakers putting into historical context some of the controversial issues in legislation now on the desk of Gov. Charlie Crist that would change public education in the state. She explains why she thinks that public education would be harmed if the legislation becomes law.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 04/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:04 PM ET, 03/24/2010

Florida Senate approves disastrous teachers bill

On Wednesday, the Florida Senate passed a bill that would end job security for teachers in the state and require school districts to evaluate and pay them primarily on the basis of student test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:04 PM ET, 03/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 03/24/2010

Disaster for Florida teachers: Senate Bill 6

A bill in the Florida Senate would go a long way to destroying the teaching profession in the state: It would eliminate job security, and link most of a teacher's pay to how well students perform on standardized tests. The bill takes to extremes the notion, supported by President Obama, of linking teacher evaluation to test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 03/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:42 PM ET, 01/19/2010

A question for President Obama

I wonder if President Obama realizes the very huge gap between his pre-election talk about education and the program that his administration is advancing now. Today Obama went to a Virginia school to announce $1.35 billion new funding for his “Race to the Top” initiative for improving the country’s public education system. The total price tag is expected to be $4.35 billion. This effort is the successor to president Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” program in ways more than just timing; the emphasis on standardized test scores that marked NCLB has been carried over into Race to the Top, and even, as some critics, made even more prominent. This is not at all the message that Obama as presidential candidate made repeatedly.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:42 PM ET, 01/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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)

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 11/19/2009

Diagnosed with “over-comprehension:” My standardized test nightmare

This really happened (and I hope Arne Duncan, Al Sharpton and Newt Gingrich read this): Second grade. Everglades Elementary School in Miami. Mrs. Hirsch, my classroom teacher, passed out the first standardized test I had ever taken. Math and language arts. I took the exam and declared that I had done very well. Soon after the outstanding Everglades principal, Mrs. Kazer, called my mother and said, “Libby, we have to talk....” I got every answer wrong. Why?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 11/19/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:05 PM ET, 10/07/2009

Is It Tougher Being a Kid Today?

It isn’t exactly scientific, but a trove of letters and emails written by children each year reveals important information about their concerns. Kids worry about everything, especially tests and homework, but don’t want to tell their parents about it....

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:05 PM ET, 10/07/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 09/21/2009

The Problem That Is Kindergarten

Art. Mathematics. Music. Physical Education. Reading/Language Arts. Science. Social Studies. Guess the school year in which kids first tackle that lineup. Third grade? Second grade? First? Wrong, wrong and wrong. That’s what 5-year-olds in kindergarten are doing in Montgomery County public schools--and in many other districts around the country too.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 09/21/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)