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Working Group 9: Critical issues of Standardized Testing

Initiated by: Arlo Kempf and Peter McLaren


Description:


This group is formed to facilitate discussion about the increased use and significance of standardized testing, and in particular high stakes standardized testing, for 1) understanding student academic achievement and performance, 2) understanding teacher practice and competency, 3) shaping the relationship between teachers and the general public, 4) teacher practice in and out of the classroom, and 5) student experiences of schooling in and out of the classroom. Although standardized assessment has a long history in the US and elsewhere, the recent expansion and intensification of high stakes testing under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) constitutes a radical change to the theory and practice of public education. High stakes tests are used as the primary measure of student, teacher, school and district performance in many jurisdictions. Despite the myriad claims of the equalizing potential of NCLB, race, class, language and other gaps persist in our education systems. High stakes testing is now big business. Although it receives little support from teachers and academics, it is the favored tool of politicians and main stream media for demanding accountability and change in our schools – despite failing to ensure either. This working group aims to bring together academics, parents, teachers, students, community workers and other education stakeholders for a critical engagement about the limitations and dangers of standardized testing, as well as a discussion of alternatives; including opt-out, resistance based and counter testing measures.
This wiki hosts a collection of resources (some links, some documents) which address various issued concerning standardized testing. Please feel free to add new resources under the relevant category(ies), and also please feel free to raise any other issues concerning standardized testing or related issues. This is a work in progress. EDU4 cannot be sure that all links work all the time; that all groups, opinions, and arguments are in keeping with EDU4's mission and purpose; or that each and every resource listed is relevant and current.

Click for resources on the following areas:

Introduction and Background on High Stakes Standardized Testing


Measurement and (In)Accuracy in Standardized Testing and Value Added Measures


The Impact of Standardized Testing What Teachers Teach and Don't Teach


Standardized Testing and Equity (Issues of Race, Class, Gender, Sexuality, Langauge and Ability)


The Impact of Standardized Testing on Teachers


Cheating Scandals and Other Consequences of Testing Pressure


Groups, Organizations and Blogs


Alternative Conceptions of Achievement


Parent Resistance and Resources



Standardized Testing and Equity (Issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, langauge and ability)

Readings/Resources:


Au, W. (2009). Unequal by design: High-stakes testing and the standardization of inequality. New York: Routledge.

Barksdale-Ladd, M.A. & Thomas, K. (2000). What’s at stake in high-stakes testing: Teachers and parents speak out. Journal of Teacher Education, 51(5), 384-397.

Boaler, J. (2003). When learning no longer matters – standardized testing and the creation of inequality Phi Delta Kappan, 84(7), 502-506.

Contreras, F. (2005). Access, achievement, and social capital: Standardized exams and the Latino college-bound population. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 4, 197–214.

Darling‐Hammond, L. (2007). Race, inequality and educational accountability: The irony of ‘No Child Left Behind’, Race Ethnicity and Education, 10(3), 245-260.

Hursh, D. (2007). Exacerbating inequality: the failed promise of the No Child Left Behind Act. Race Ethnicity and Education, 10(3), 295–308.

Heubert, J. P. & Hauser, R. M., (Eds.). (1999). High Stakes: Testing for Tracking, Promotion, and Graduation. Washington, DC: National Research Council, National Academy Press. (Available on line at http://books.nap.edu/html/highstakes/index_pdf.html.)

Menken, K. (2006). Teaching to the test: How No Child Left Behind impacts language policy, curriculum, and instruction for English Language Learners. Bilingual Research Journal, 30(2), 521–546.

Murnane, R.J. & Papay, J.P. (2010). Teachers’ views on No Child Left Behind: Support for the principles, concerns about the practices, Journal of Economic Perspectives (24)3, 151–166.

Paige, R. (2006). No Child Left Behind: The ongoing movement for public educationreform. Harvard Educational Review, 76(4) 461-473.

Popham, W.J. (2001). The truth about testing: An educator’s call to action. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Rogers, J. (2006). Forces of accountability? The power of poor parents in No Child Left Behind. Harvard Educational Review, 76(4), 611–641.

Wood, G. (2004). A view from the field: NCLB’s effects on classrooms and schools. In D. Meier (Ed.), Many children left behind: How the No Child Left Behind Act is damaging our children and our schools (pp. 33-52). Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Booher-Jennings, J. (2005). Below the bubble: "Educational Triage" and the Texas accountability system": American Educational Research Journal, 42(2),
231-268.
Full PDF:


CREATE. Testing Today in Context: History, Impact, and Alternatives
Full PDF:


En español


CREATE: HIGHLIGHTS of Research Brief #1: Testing Today in Context: History, Impact, and Alternatives
Full PDF:


En español


Paulson, S. E., & Marchant, G. J. (2009). Background variables, levels of aggregation, and standardized test scores. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 17(22).
Retrieved [date] from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v17n22/.

The Impact of Standardized Testing on Teachers

Readings/Resources:


Barksdale-Ladd, M.A. & Thomas, K. (2000). What’s at stake in high-stakes testing: Teachers and parents speak out. Journal of Teacher Education, 51(5), 384-397.

Darling‐Hammond, L. (2007). Race, inequality and
educational accountability: The irony of ‘No Child Left Behind’, Race Ethnicity and Education, 10(3), 245-260.

Hursh, D. (2007). Exacerbating inequality: the failed promise of the No Child Left Behind Act. Race Ethnicity and Education, 10(3), 295–308.

Menken, K. (2006). Teaching to the test: How No Child Left Behind impacts language policy, curriculum, and instruction for English Language Learners. Bilingual Research Journal, 30(2), 521–546.

Murnane, R.J. & Papay, J.P. (2010). Teachers’ views on No Child Left Behind: Support for the principles, concerns about the practices, Journal of Economic Perspectives (24)3, 151–166.

Pedulla, JJ.et al. (2003). Perceived effects of state-mandated testing programs on teaching and learning: Findings from a national survey of teachers. National Board on Education Testing and Public Policy. Boston College: Boston.

CREATE. Testing Today in Context: History, Impact, and Alternatives
Full PDF:


En español



CREATE: HIGHLIGHTS of Research Brief #1: Testing Today in Context: History, Impact, and Alternatives
Full PDF:


En español


Spohn, C. (2008). Teacher perspectives on No Child Left Behind and arts education: A case study. Arts Education Policy Review, 109(4), 3-11.

Wood, G. (2004). A view from the field: NCLB’s effects on classrooms and schools. In D. Meier (Ed.), Many children left behind: How the No Child Left Behind Act is damaging our children and our schools (pp. 33-52). Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Op-ed written by Isabel Nunez (Concordia University Chicago) Standardized test scores are worst way to evaluate teachers

Cheating Scandals and Other Consequences of Testing Pressure

Readings/Resources:


Murnane, R.J. & Papay, J.P. (2010). Teachers’ views on No Child Left Behind: Support for the principles, concerns about the practices, Journal of Economic Perspectives (24)3, 151–166.

Wheelock, A., Bebell, D.J., & Haney, W. (2000). What can student drawings tell us about high-stakes testing in Massachusetts? Teachers College Record, Date Published: November 02, 2000. http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number:10634

The disease of testing madness revealed in latest Calif. cheating scandal (Oct 29, 2012)

Scranton Schools Under Investigation For Fixing Test Scores. Citizens' Voice
http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/timesshamrock/access/2758608411.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Sep+12%2C+2012&author=Sarah+Hofius+Hall&pub=Citizens%27+Voice&edition=&startpage=n%2Fa&desc=Scranton+Schools+Under+Investigation+For+Fixing+Test+Scores

Groups, Organizations and Blogs


United Opt Out National: The Movement to End Corporate Education Reform.

The National Center for Fair & Open Testing
The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) works to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing and to ensure that evaluation of students, teachers and schools is fair, open, valid and educationally beneficial.

Opt Out of Standardized Tests This site was created to collect and share information on state by state rules and experiences related to opting out of standardized tests. This is an open community for any parent, student, or educator interested in finding or sharing opt out information, irrespective of personal decisions regarding political party, religion, or choice of public or non public education.

Opt Out Groups on Facebook

Opt Out of State Standardized Tests - National
  • Group for parents, teachers, students of all beliefs and backgrounds.
Opt Out of State Standardized Tests - Your State
  • Find the opt out group for your state by searching "Opt Out of Standardized Tests" then typing the name of your state i.e. Opt Out of State Standardized Tests - New York
Parents & Kids Against Standardized Testing (Opt Out of State Testing)
  • Page for parents, teachers, students of all beliefs and backgrounds.
Parents & Kids Against Standardized Testing ( Opt Out of State Testing )
  • Group for parents, teachers, students of all beliefs and backgrounds.
Fair Test
  • Page for parents, teachers, students of all beliefs and backgrounds.
OPT OUT of State Tests: Parent/Student Support against Standardized Testing
  • Group where parents frustrated by public school policies and mandates like standardized tests can feel comfortable to explore and share ideas about non public education alternatives.
Uniting 4 Kids
  • Group for parents, teachers, and community members that seeks to be the glue between all key education activists and groups that want to turn the tide on the standards and testing movement which resulted from No Child Left Behind and now also from Race to the Top.
OPT OUT OF THE STATE TEST : The National Movement
  • Group for parents, teachers, students whose primary focus is the preservation of public schools through the opting out of state tests. Discussion and exploration regarding alternatives to public education is excluded.

Opt Out Groups on the Internet

StopStandards: Stop National Standards
  • Group for authors and education activists fighting against high-stakes standardized testing, and the imposition of National Standards, referred to by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as the Common Core State Standards.
The Bartleby Project
  • Group that invites students to peacefully refuse to participate in taking standardized tests and preparing for them. Parents, students, and teachers share experiences here.
Parents & Kids Against Standardized Testing

Education Blogs

Getting Your Classroom Ready in the Wake of Sandy
CES Fall Forum: Day One
Ypsilanti-Willow Run Consolidation Begins With 18 Candidates for 7 School Board Spots
The Farce and the Hope of New York City’s Annual School Report Cards
Louisiana voucher schools teach creationism reject evolution
Patrick Sullivan Report from PEP: Mayoral Bloc Rejects Call for Delay in Charter School Co-locations
The poor in America: In need of help | The Economist
Sun-Times has a 'democracy problem" of its own
Act of God No Excuse, Declares Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Bloomberg Docks City Workers Pay
Humiliation, The Way To Run A Department
The Hard Bigotry of Low Expectations in Florida
Describing, Explaining And Affecting Teacher Retention In D.C.
Schools Matter: How the VAM/AGT pseudoscience worm turns
Going Down The Quality Review Tubes at PS 154x
Yes on Recreational Use of Marijuana
For LA Teacher Librarians, brutal interrogations are used to justify firings…
Short Notes: In a Kendrick Lamar and Lady Gaga Sorta Vibe
Dear President Obama

Alternative Conceptions of Achievement


Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century (2012)
Description
Business and political leaders are increasingly asking schools to integrate development of skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration into the teaching and learning of academic subjects. Collectively these skills are often referred to as "21st century skills" or "deeper learning."
Education for Life and Work: Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century, a new report from the National Research Council, more clearly defines these terms and lays the groundwork for policy and further research in the field. The new report:

Assessing 21st Century Skills: Summary of a Workshop(BOTA - National Research Council)
Description
The routine jobs of yesterday are being replaced by technology and/or shipped off-shore. In their place, job categories that require knowledge management, abstract reasoning, and personal services seem to be growing. The modern workplace requires workers to have broad cognitive and affective skills. Often referred to as "21st century skills," these skills include being able to solve complex problems, to think critically about tasks, to effectively communicate with people from a variety of different cultures and using a variety of different techniques, to work in collaboration with others, to adapt to rapidly changing environments and conditions for performing tasks, to effectively manage one's work, and to acquire new skills and information on one's own.
The National Research Council (NRC) has convened two prior workshops on the topic of 21st century skills. The first, held in 2007, was designed to examine research on the skills required for the 21st century workplace and the extent to which they are meaningfully different from earlier eras and require corresponding changes in educational experiences. The second workshop, held in 2009, was designed to explore demand for these types of skills, consider intersections between science education reform goals and 21st century skills, examine models of high-quality science instruction that may develop the skills, and consider science teacher readiness for 21st century skills. The third workshop was intended to delve more deeply into the topic of assessment. The goal for this workshop was to capitalize on the prior efforts and explore strategies for assessing the five skills identified earlier. The Committee on the Assessment of 21st Century Skills was asked to organize a workshop that reviewed the assessments and related research for each of the five skills identified at the previous workshops, with special attention to recent developments in technology-enabled assessment of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In designing the workshop, the committee collapsed the five skills into three broad clusters as shown below:
  • Cognitive skills: nonroutine problem solving, critical thinking, systems thinking
  • Interpersonal skills: complex communication, social skills, team-work, cultural sensitivity, dealing with diversity
  • Intrapersonal skills: self-management, time management, self-development, self-regulation, adaptability, executive functioning
Assessing 21st Century Skills provides an integrated summary of the presentations and discussions from both parts of the third workshop.

Parent Resistance and Resources


article on opt out: http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/perris/perris-headlines-index/20120329-nuevo-parent-says-boycott-state-tests-to-protest-cuts.ece#slcgm_comments_anchor

United Opt Out National website: http://unitedoptout.com/state-by-state-opt-out/california/

https://www.facebook.com/EducationPerspectives?sk=wall (Fresno, CA)

https://viewer.zoho.com/docs/kbdmm (opt out letter)

http://www.pencilsdown.org/california.html

California – http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=edc&group=60001-61000&file=60604-60618

http://richgibson.com/ca-law.html (California)

http://newark.patch.com/articles/opting-out-of-state-testing-is-it-an-option

http://eastbayhomework.blogspot.com/2010/04/skinny-on-star-testing.html