Article: Why Education Reform is Doomed

Check out this fascinating article on why education reform in America is doomed.  The author takes a look at the huge success stories seen over in Finland and compares that to what is being done in America.

I will give you one hint, Finland is not pushing nationalized standardized testing.

Click the link to read the article:

http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/03/why_us_education_reform_is_doo.html

High Stakes Testing: It’s Broke, yet We keep doing It

There is an old adage, “If it is broke, don’t fix it.”  Unfortunately, education in America is broke, yet we aren’t fixing it.

Extensive research has reached the conclusion that high stakes testing is a net negative and does not aid in student achievement.  

I have had the fortune of discussing testing with numerous public school educators.  They share these sentiments.  I often hear how they would love to focus on learning and the curriculum rather than teach in an environment of high stakes testing.

I feel for those educators.  Ultimately, we all want the same thing.  We all want our students to succeed.  

The following was published by NCTE and gives a summary of the research that has been accomplished regarding high stakes testing.  I have found it as a good resource in talking with other educators, parents, and policy makers on education reform.

•Afflerbach, P. (2005). High stakes testing and reading assessment: National reading conference policy brief. Journal of Literacy Research, 37(2), 151-162.

This reading brief describes the liabilities associated with high-stakes testing, including lack of research supporting a link between testing with reading achievement.EndFragment.

•Amrein, A.L. & Berliner, D.C. (2003). The effects of high-stakes testing on student motivation and learning. Educational Leadership, 60(5), 32- 38.

Research suggests that high-stakes testing creates less intrinsic student motivation and alienates students from self-directed learning. Topics include how high-stakes testing has impacted the rate of high school dropouts and student retention.

 

•Huempfner, L. (2004).  Can one size fit all?  The imperfect assumptions of parallel achievement tests for bilingual students.  Bilingual Research Journal, 28, 379-399.

This article focuses on some of the faulty assumptions that are made in the development of large-scale assessments for Spanish-speaking English language learners and argues that new measures need to be taken to assure that these tests reflect the best interests of the populations to whom they are administered.

•Neill, M. (2003). The dangers of testing. Educational Leadership. 60(5), 43-46.

The author suggests that high-stakes testing often impedes higher-level learning and skilled teaching because of the one-sided focus on test results. Data reveals that standardized testing has not led to an improvement in academic achievement.
•Triplett, C. (2005). Third through Sixth Graders’ Perceptions of High-Stakes Testing. Journal of Literacy Research 37(2), 237-260.

This study examined attitudes towards high-stakes testing by asking 225 elementary students to draw a picture and write a description that reflected their recent testing experiences.  Results indicate students’ negativity toward and anxiety concerning high-stakes tests.

The Results Speak for Themselves…Increased Federal Spending Does Not Correlate to Increased Test Scores

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Data driven results from the past decades have led many to one conclusion…there is no correlation between federal spending and improved national testing scores.

 

Check out this latest piece from US News and World Report  

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/economic-intelligence/2014/08/25/back-to-school-more-education-money-hasnt-improved-results

Florida School District is the First to Fully Eliminate Standardized Testing

The Lee County Board of Education voted 3-2 to ditch state standardized testing, despite the objections of the superintendent.

“Sometimes it takes an act of civil disobedience to move forward,” board member Don Armstrong said, according to the newspaper. “We cannot allow the fear to hold us back.”

Click on the link for the full article http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/08/28/florida-school-district-is-first-in-the-state-to-ditch-standardized-testing/