Saturday, November 19, 2011

Student assessment vs system assurance

Too often we confuse student assessment with system assurance. In other words, assessment is a tool for students and teachers to use while they are engaged in real learning; and yet for accountability purposes, some governments hijack assessment as a tool to meet their needs.

If we are collecting information about student learning for parents then the teacher is in the best position to provide such information. A teacher who has spent months with a child is going to be able to provide far more authentic information than a test that sat in front of a child for an hour.

Teachers should be able to give a good account of a student's learning but that's not a test score, nor is it a grade.

1 comment:

  1. Our state, North Carolina is preparing to develop tests for every subject in every grade level, not to measure student performance but to measure how teachers are doing. They are not hiding that fact at all. At a recent meeting, a North Carolina Department of Public Instruction official made it perfectly clear that these new assessments would be used solely to measure teacher performance. This is all due to North Carolina's accepting Race to the Top funding from Secretary Arne Duncan and the Obama administration. Ultimately, the Obama administration is only accelerating our state's turn to tests determine how everything is done in our schools. The method of "system assurance" chosen by our state will ultimately destroy public education in our state, but our state level officials are too blinded by all that federal money to see it. Thanks for the thought-provoking post. You do bring sanity of thought to all this blather about tests and accountability.

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