On Standards, standardized assessments, and College readiness
The Latin root of the word assess, assidere, means to sit beside. Educators who are closest to the child, who sit beside the child on a daily basis, derive the most informative data. It is essential that these very same educators make the decisions about test selection and evaluation reporting. It is the teacher who can read social, emotional, physical, cultural, linguistic, and cognitive characteristics of the learner. Human subject ethics for research requires strict adherence to “Beneficence” research must have positive for all participants in any trail.
My conclusion is framed by perceived pressures from NCLB/ESSA’s focus on meeting standards are not based on the ethical principles of research. Is assessment and evaluation meant to be cold, heartless, and disconnected from primary stakeholders or is it supposed to contain a wellness or instructional component? Is there no court of appeals for children, parents, teachers, and local schools in this new era of accountability? Is the focus of educational reform the disenfranchisement of those closest to our children? We need to study why we are following a top-down assessment model that ignores the patients (students), doctors (teachers), parents, and family. News headlines inform the general public that the United States is in danger of falling behind on international assessments. Policy-makers tell us that the United States test scores reveal we are falling behind in international educational comparisons. The 2010 Brown Center Report on American Education, How Well Are American Students Learning, debunked two myths of international assessments; 1) that the US ever led the world on tests of achievement, and 2) that Finland leads the world in education. According to the Brown report Finland scores near the top on the PISA assessment, but not on other international assessments. Historically the US has led internationally in Nobel Prizes in every Nobel category. The US is near the top in number of patents granted. When policy makers say we are falling behind they are looking at test scores obtained by measuring individual performance to a contrived standard. Contrived Standards and standardized assessments ignore the collection of information based on individual progress, growth, and achievement. Assessment and evaluation rooted exclusively in formal standardized summative measures is too narrow, and hasn’t anything to do with actual indicators of economic success or competitiveness.
For a more intensive of my view on Balanced Assessment see: Jesse P. Turner, John D. Foshay, and Ernest Pancsofar (2013). Toward a More Balanced Assessment Framework. Edited Daniel Mulcahy. Transforming Schools: Alternative Perspectives on School Reform (chapter 6):IAP, Charlotte, NC.
For my role as an activist you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow my blog on the web http://childrenaremorethantestscores.blogspot.com/
This audience was full of BK Nation Superstars, informed, willing and able to fight for right.
Love every single one of them.