Opinion: State tests ensure mediocrity
| Nov 18, 2010
In an opinion piece from Education Week online, Kelly Gallagher discusses why the state tests being used to measure student progress ensure mediocrity. Gallagher considers the complexity of the standards on which students are tested. The questions require much deeper instruction than the time that teachers have to teach their students. Because some teachers, such as in California, are being evaluated based on their students' results on these state tests, they are being forced to change their instruction into a “sprint and cover” mode.
Gallagher also writes that the standards are not the problem, because we want standards that will set high expectations for student learning. The problem is that there are too many standards. One study found that if teachers taught all the standards at the right level so students would acquire meaningful understanding, the educational system would have to be changed from K-12 to K-22. Because there are too many standards, teachers are pressured to cover everything, which leads to shallow teaching and thinking. Read the full article here.