Support More Teaching and Less Testing

Wednesday, May 17th, 2023
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Christopher Tienken and Julie Borst

Large-scale annual standardized testing has been federal public school policy for over 20 years. During that time billions of dollars of taxpayer monies have been spent to design, purchase, administer, and score the various tests used around the country. A veritable industrial-testing complex has been set up across the country that siphons educational resources from public schools to large corporations. The United States mandates more standardized tests of academic achievement than any other democratic country in the G20 group of nations. So, what have we learned from all of this testing?

Results studies over the last 35 years have demonstrated that results from standardized tests are highly subjective and not entirely indicative of what is happening in the classroom. Findings from decades of scientific research suggest that standardized tests are blunt instruments, whose results can be predicted at the school and district levels by using family and community demographic data found in the U.S. Census.  Simply put, results from study after study over the last 70 years suggest that the tests are measuring more of a child’s experiences outside of school than what’s happening inside of school. The results do not provide valid information about the quality of teaching in a school, how a student learns, what a student learned, nor the learning potential of a student. According to the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing developed by leading education and psychology research associations, the tests are not diagnostic and the results cannot be used to inform classroom instruction.

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Christopher H. Tienken ©2012 Copyright. All Rights Reserved.