Sunday, March 1, 2015

“What is the goal?”

The Gazette has a terrific, thorough editorial on the proposal to adopt the very expensive Smarter Balanced standardized tests. Its conclusion:
Even if Smarter Balanced provides more detailed student information, it is difficult to understand how our cash-strapped districts will be able to use such data to enhance student learning. . . .

Are Iowans being asked to choose between the cost of an administrator to oversee test score data-crunching or the cost of a classroom teacher? If so, we believe most Iowans will — and should — choose the teacher.

Likewise, if the choice before state lawmakers is to purchase unproven, expensive assessments with titillating bells and whistles or fully fund our school districts, we hope they choose to better fund our schools.
The editorial also raises smart questions about how exactly schools will use the test scores and whether the supposed gains are worth the huge increase in cost.

Read the whole thing..

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