ERIC Number: ED437455
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
Real Learning: Do Tests Help?
Duke, Debi, Ed.
Action for Better Schools, v6 n2 Win-Spr 1999
This theme issue reviews the advantages and disadvantages of testing. Both activists and researchers seem to agree that tests measure a limited range of skills and that test preparation alone does not improve teaching or learning. There is also substantial agreement among researchers and activists opposed to widespread test use that no single measure, including test scores, provides a reliable or fair basis for making decisions about children's education. Some of the problems posed by standardized testing are reviewed, and some suggestions are offered for parents and activists who are concerned about the use of tests in local schools. Questions should be asked to determine: (1) the tests being used; (2) other methods used to evaluate students and schools; (3) whether tests are explained adequately; (4) the school's plans for helping students with low test scores; (5) whether tests allow students to demonstrate skills directly; and (6) whether teachers have the resources and preparation to help students develop the skills to be tested. Mobilizing parents, community activists, teachers, and teacher organizations to work for better student assessment is discussed. Some teacher and parent opinions about test use are offered. A second article, "Meanwhile, When Do I Sleep?" by Bill Bigelow, discusses teacher reactions to Oregon's new high-stakes standards and assessments. Some general resources about assessment are listed. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Achievement Tests, Educational Assessment, Elementary Secondary Education, Learning, Standardized Tests, Student Evaluation, Test Coaching, Test Use
National Coalition of Education Activists, P.O. Box 679, Rhinebeck, NY 12572 ($1 single copy; free to members).
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Coalition of Education Activists, Rosendale, NY.