Statement against high-stakes standardized testing by Massachusetts professors and researchers

A group of Massachusetts professors and researchers have banded together to craft a statement against high stakes standardized testing and present it to the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education, the Secretary of Education and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). To read the entire statement click here: To see the list of professors and researchers that endorsed it go here:
Below is a quoted snippet from the statement:

Researchers have documented, and a nine-year study by the National Research Council (Hout & Elliott, 2011) has confirmed, that the past decade’s emphasis on testing has yielded little learning progress. Further, testing experts and the test-makers themselves have consistently warned against using standardized tests for high-stakes decisions such as graduation or retention, or to hire, fire, or reward teachers (AERA, 2000). The tests provide only a snapshot of a limited range of knowledge and skills, so they can provide only limited information to teachers. Because the tests are not designed to determine teacher effectiveness, no accurate conclusions can be drawn about an individual teacher from her students’ test scores. Research indicates that a teacher’s impact on student learning cannot be reliably isolated from the myriad other factors that impact student learning (Baker et al., 2009). Finally, test experts have shown that test scores can be raised without increasing true student learning (Koretz, 2008), and that the higher the stakes attached to a test, the less trustworthy the test scores are.

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"he higher the stakes

By on

"he higher the stakes attached to a test, the less trustworthy the test scores are."

Teachers & students cheat? I am shocked at this development.

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And each and every one of

And each and every one of those professors and researchers benefited from high stakes tests. For every one of these nimrods, I'd like to propose that when they get sick, they should choose to go to doctors who did not do well on tests, and just squeaked through. When their children need operations, they go to surgeons who got the lowest scores on tests in medical school. Fair is fair - if they want to inflict low standards on others, they should live with the results themselves.

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Nothing to do with "minimum standards" in any real world sense

Sure I took the SAT and PSAT ... and it helped me get into a very good college. That isn't the problem.

The problem is that real data from real students says the tests are worthless for predicting performance or setting the minimum standards for anything meaningful in the real world, other than parental income, perhaps.

The problem is that the testing organizations are entirely parasitic and keep demanding that their services be expanded into more and more and more subject areas, in a way that is eating a lot of educational time and costing a lot of money. What was intended - rightfully so - to require schools to meet minimal educational standards and students to display minimal skills to graduate has ballooned into a superstorm of stupidity and patronage teat-sucking. Many of these tests are an immense waste of money for dubious results.

In other words, this is a racket - the "standards" it enforces are more socioeconomic. They have little or no prognostic value for future performance.

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