Sunday, January 18, 2015

Quote for the day

Research documenting the validity of teacher judgment is, at present, shamefully hard to come by. About ten years ago, I read a brief monograph summarizing a few scattered studies that affirmed the validity of teacher judgment. The federally funded, master file on educational research called ERIC lists over 10,000 descriptors available for searching this comprehensive educational research database. As of 2001, “teacher judgment” did not even make list. The extent to which this obvious information asset is overlooked is one of the most appalling phenomena in education today.
George W. Elford, Beyond Standardized Testing: Better
Information for School Accountability, 2002

How could we ever live with less standardized testing? How would we ever know whether the kids were learning anything?


Josh M said...

How did we live for generations without such testing? Did you have such testing? Are you any less educated for a lack of insane levels of high stakes testing written by non-educator bureaucrats?

And have you been to some of these test days? It's unbelievable. It's the kind of environment that I'd expect that you'd hate. Here in N.C., we have to have other teachers (or community volunteers) to individually escort a high school student to the bathroom and stand outside while the student uses the bathroom. When I've been the unlucky bathroom escorter, I've felt VERY uncomfortable standing outside the ladies' room waiting for a kid to pee, with the halls so dead-silent that I can't help but hear her pee. And if I hum loudly enough to try to cover the noise, I'm causing a disturbance in the hallway.

I'm not arguing for no teacher oversight. There ought to be better administrators from all levels -- the school admin, the district admin, and the state admin -- making more classroom visits to see what teachers are actually doing. Tests don't prove what teachers are doing. They prove what the test-writers are doing and how for-profit Pearson is making millions of dollars off of cash-strapped states to prove that they can make teachers and students all jump through hoops and be unhappy to sap the joy and discovery of learning.

Josh M said...

... and I think that I wasn't reading your sarcasm clearly enough now that I read the post again.

My mistake!

Chris said...

Josh -- Yes, I was being sarcastic -- but your comments works either way!

Sorry for the blogger commenting system, by the way. I deleted the multiple duplicate comments.