In response to my request for help in figuring out what President Obama was referring to in his speech this week when he spoke about a national competition to identify better assessments different from having students “fill out a bubble” (An Interesting Thing In Obama’s Speech This Week), “chalkdusty” shared an article that appeared in Education Week two weeks ago titled Experts, Public to Weigh In on Common Tests.
Unfortunately, the article certainly doesn’t leave the impression (at least, in my reading of it) that they are going to seriously consider new types of assessments.
The comments on the article are also worth reading. Here’s one left by renowned ELL researcher Stephen Krashen:
At a time when children are overwhelmed with tests, when schools are being turned into test-prep academies, and when worth-while programs are being eliminated because of severe budget cuts, we are planning even more tests, tests that will match grade-by-grade standards, and carry a “hefty price tag.”
Judging by some of the other posts, I am clearly not the only person who thinks this is nuts. And I am not the only one who thinks it makes more sense to invest in maintaining and improving our educational system rather than developing more and more precise tests, tests that will add little or nothing to what we already know.