ERIC Number: ED178551
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Competency Testing: Some Unlearned Lessons.
Anderson, Scarvia B.
In a speech on minimum competency testing, the author discusses four issues which are still unresolved. The first is the need to recognize the political overtones which gave impetus to the competency movement as a reaction against the perceived failures of the schools and teacher education institutions, rather than as a concern for student development and academic growth. The second issue is the lack of a clear definition of educational or social basic competency, due to different operational definitions of such concepts as affect vs. cognition; proficiency vs. performance; and knowledge vs. application. Thirdly, there is a need to recognize the attempt at egalitarianism which ignores individual differences, talents, or handicaps. Alternatives to a common set of standards in competency testing programs may be helpful. The fourth issue is the defensive stance taken by those involved in testing toward setting standards and teaching to the test, in the context of teaching students the skills and knowledge measured by the competency tests. Instead, it is important to recognize reality and to help educators design tests which are worth teaching and learning for. (MH)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Accountability, Basic Skills, Definitions, Elementary Secondary Education, Examiners, Fundamental Concepts, Individual Differences, Interpersonal Competence, Minimum Competency Testing, Negative Attitudes, Political Influences, Testing Problems, Testing Programs
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Michigan School Testing Conference (Ann Arbor, MI, March, 1979)