Thursday, July 24, 2008

Testing and Learning

New York Times
Published: June 19, 2008

To get the well-educated, highly skilled workers that the country needs, states must strengthen public school curriculums, especially in math and science. States also need to adopt high-quality tests that show how students are performing from year to year.

Still there is a danger when schools focus too much attention on test preparation at the expense of high-quality classroom instruction. A disturbing new study from an influential research institute at the University of Chicago shows that that is happening far too often in Chicago schools — and likely in many others across the country.

The study, conducted by the Consortium on Chicago School Research, looked at how Chicago high schools dealt with the ACT, the well-known college-entry examination that Illinois students are required to take as a part of the state’s testing regime.

The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement test that measures what students learn at school and how well they are prepared for the first year of college. This is not a test that is easy to game. Performance depends on what students have been taught and the strength of their skills.

Read more HERE

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