04 January 2008

Teachers and testing - what is all the fuss?

Most people won’t make an effective teacher. Why? Teaching is a complex job, requiring multiple skill sets. Three essentials teacher skills are being a nerd in the subject content, another is sufficient social skills to maximize organized chaos - classroom management, and one more is being a quality decision maker. Blue ribbon teachers, again and again, correctly choose among conflicting “A” priority tasks.

How do teachers really know what works? That's simple, they are in the class and can see the results, or no results, in many different aspects - all day long - including social skills, content assimilation, language skill, and so forth.

But as far as politicians, most parents, and administrators are concerned .... it all comes down to how students do on the test. Something not talked about much is what the "test" is measuring .... is it an equitable test for all students ..... is it measuring what was taught ..... does the test make any assumptions that will inadvertently discriminate against certain students? Everyone hears the word "test" and assumes that it's a fair measurement of content assimilation, but there are a host of factors to consider when building a test. As a teacher, I have heard little to nothing about how the test are being constructed..... no matter if they are a CRT, Criteria Referenced Test, or another high stake test that are more prevalent than ever.

Teachers know what works best and they are telling us in the surveys they complete on this site in the free "members only" section.

Sadly, what we are hearing from teachers is that they cannot use the testing methods they know work the best. You can read the results by clicking here.

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