Friday, September 3, 2010

There's Always Money for More Tests

An article in the New York Times, U.S. asks Educators to Reinvent Student Tests, and How They Are Given, explains that the U.S. Dept. of Education is about to spend $330 million to devise new tests. The tests are supposed to involve higher-order thinking skills, while being "computerized" so that they can be taken several times a year (oh joy!). If they're scored by computer, how can they test for higher-order thinking skills?

In a bad economy, there must be a million more productive ways to spend $330 million on education. Our kids spend too much time and energy taking tests already. When will this madness end?

1 comment:

  1. Great point, FedUpMom!

    What's the underlying reason the DoE is having trouble measuring higher-order thinking skills? It's because there are so few good ideas about what high-order thinking skills ARE. If you can't clearly say what something is, it's awfully hard to measure (especially on a scantron bubble sheet).

    The best model I've found that describes higher-order thinking skills and how to teach them is the DSRP Method, developed by Dr. Derek Cabrera over the past 20 years. Dr. Cabrera's clear and research-backed ideas would would have changed my practice as a classroom teacher. I would encourage parents to share these resources with their child's teachers and other school staff:

    FYI - the DSRP Method is easily taught at home, too. No homework required ;)