Can measurement really drive instruction and influence the
curriculum? How does a test come to exercise power over curriculum
and instruction? What is the nature of that power? This chapter
explores these issues. However, to anticipate, the lesson of history is
clear. Tests can be, have been, and in some places are the engines that
drive teaching and learning. Is this a good thing? The answer depends
on one's philosophy of instruction, curriculum, education, and testing.
There are profound implications in this driving metaphor about the
nature of instruction, curriculum, education, teaching, and testing.
A major effort by a well-known university to improve the reading skills of its students is described.
The purpose of this study is to determine the particular effects and influences of the College Entrance Board examinations in mathematics upon the teaching of secondary school mathematics.
America’s institutions of higher education are on the leading edge of forging the next generation of professionals who will compete in a world unlike that of our parents. The students of today will be competing on a global stage that demands rigor of thought, creativity and performance. In order for them to succeed, we must maintain high educational standards and give students every opportunity to demonstrate their potential. Colleges and universities need every tool at their disposal in order to meet these challenges, and the SAT has a clear role to play in this effort.
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.
Standardized test scores have become one of the most common sources of data used for measuring equity along racial and ethnic lines, however, other than providing compelling evidence that disparities exist, standardized tests are a severely limited tool for supplying useful information related to educational equity.