The Myths of Standardized Tests: Why They Don’t Tell You What You Think They Do

What’s Left Out

  • Although most educators think depth is more important than breadth of coverage, the proliferation of state-level standards results in the polar opposite. Teachers survey entire fields to “cover” the curriculum and stuff kids like turkeys with as many facts as possible. The impact is even starker in areas that are not tested. High-stakes tests have narrowed and dumbed down curricula and eliminated time spent on untested subjects by about a third, including recess. The fact that this happened was not part of discussions that lead to the tests in the first place. Tests also drive instruction towards items with one clear, right answer at the expense of open-ended problem solving. Explaining is hard to do when you are blackening a bubble. Common Core Standards being pushed by the Obama administration only contribute to the problem.
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11 Responses to “The Myths of Standardized Tests: Why They Don’t Tell You What You Think They Do

  1. Dr. Don says:

    Every educator, administrator, government bureaucrat, and union leader should be required to read this book, and then tested on it in the same manner that our children are tested today. Better yet, this should probably be a seminar topic for required academic continuing education. Chart 14, “New Ideas for Genuine Accountability” brushes the surface and wets our appetite on a new direction and sounds like it could be the basis for Harris, Smith, and Harris’s next book.

  2. The Myths Of Standardized Tests Why They Dont Tell You What You Think They Do…

    [...]This bok by Philip Haris, Bruce Smith, and Joan Haris tels how our schols are under atack by the[...]…

  3. [...] Doug Green has an excellent summary of the myths and negative consequences of standardized testingbased on a book on his site: [...]

  4. Archangelo says:

    Standardized tests aren’t really meant to measure student achievement, but to provide an excuse to dump teachers.

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