Statewide longitudinal databases are becoming sources for decision-making by policymakers, administrators, and teachers. These databases are tracking children and teachers, reducing the performance of children and the work of teachers to numbers. We call for an end to the obsession with the quantitative and hope for a rethinking of assessment and teaching practices that trust children and teachers as capable and critical to learning, teaching, and assessment.
Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. Albert Einstein
Methodological problems have plagued international test-score comparisons from the time they began 50 years ago. Since then the number and type of countries and other jurisdictions participating in the comparisons have increased, as have the methodological problems. At the same time, the results of the international comparisons have had an increasing impact on education policies throughout the world, despite the fact that the policy implications drawn from the comparisons are based on seriously flawed data. The commentary describes the intractable problems inherent in making valid comparisons of student achievement across countries and recommends an approach to reformulating the research.
This commentary argues that in order to create better tests, we need to know more about the ones we have. Educators would more clearly understand what we need tests to tell us, and how to retrieve that information, if we took the tests ourselves.
This commentary examines the linking of ACT scores with state accountability measures. It argues that ACT demonstrates potential in increasing postsecondary opportunity, particularly for students from low-income families. However, high school administrators, teachers, and students need to work collaboratively if this is to happen.