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The Use of Standardized Tests in Assessing Authentic Learning--A Contradiction Indeed


by Martha Casas — October 12, 2003

This commentary considers how using standardized tests to assess authentic learning and authentic instruction at the elementary, secondary, and collegiate levels is a blatant contradiction. The author states that although some teacher certification agencies urge teacher education programs to provide instruction about authentic teaching and learning, these same agencies require their pre-service teachers to pass a standardized test to receive a teaching certificate�a notable contradiction. The article addresses this similar paradox existing at the secondary and elementary school levels, also. School principals must evaluate their teachers according to how well they implement the best practices in their classrooms including cooperative learning and the use of authentic assessments. Yet, the children�s understanding of what they have learned throughout a school year is evaluated by a standardized test. In short, the author illustrates the irony surrounding the use of standardized testing at the different levels of education in this country.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: October 12, 2003
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11211, Date Accessed: 12/14/2017 12:13:05 PM

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About the Author
  • Martha Casas
    University of Texas at El Paso
    E-mail Author
    MARTHA CASAS is an assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of Texas at El Paso. Her primary research interests are teacher education and curriculum and instruction. Her recent article, “Making Pedagogical Theory Come Alive!” is scheduled for publication in volume 39 n. 3 of the Teacher Educator (Winter Issue 2004).
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