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

The Big Picture

  • The information the public needs to have about its schools is far broader and more complex than any set of test scores. Policies are about evaluation not about accountability. This book is devoted to demonstrating the shortcomings of the measuring stick of standardized testing. In order for a test to provide accurate evidence to judge the caliber of instruction, it must be able to distinguish between students who have been well taught and students who have not. Suitable tests must be instructionally sensitive. Tests being used are not. They rely on items closely linked to socioeconomic status and inherited aptitudes to spread out the scores. As such they tend to measure what students bring to school, rather than what they are taught once they get there.
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9 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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