Blue Jersey’s Ed Reform 101
Part 1 – Standardized Testing Myths
In the world of the corporate reformer, standardized testing drives everything.
Judging teachers, principals, schools, and students; merit pay, tenure, and layoffs; allocating money; granting charters… it all starts with standardized testing. And it’s an article of faith among the corporate “reform” set that standardized tests are fair, accurate, inexpensive, and good for students.
The people who actually study this issue and work with children, however, know that nothing could be further from the truth.
There is a place for standardized testing in New Jersey, but it is inappropriate to use standardized tests in high-stakes decisions that affect teachers and students. We can’t measure a child’s learning or a teacher’s effectiveness when we put so much emphasis on secretive tests that are flawed in their construction, administration, and grading.
Yet almost every proposal put forward by the corporate reformers relies heavily on children filling in bubbles on a sheet of paper. So let’s start this series by taking apart the myths about standardized testing.
What you should know about standardized testing:
Standardized tests are typically imprecise, unreliable, and biased against the poor and minorities.
Too much emphasis on testing makes teachers focus only on what’s tested and encourages cheating.
Standardized tests are expensive, but they are graded by low-skilled, low-paid workers.
Student test scores are a poor way to evaluate teachers.
and worst of all..
Too much standardized testing is bad for kids.