Category Archives: educational testing

Ab-using measurement (education testing, & misreading a JAMA report)

True or false: New research shows that for older people, a faster gait leads to a longer life. Answer:  False — despite news coverage to the contrary (apparently). Since this is a blog about curriculum-related matters, I want to start by explaining why this post is even here. Then I will review the story about […]

Silhouettes of knowing as “Potemkin knowledges”

In a 2007 article,* I discussed how our prevailing approach to education results in the production of mere silhouettes in place of genuine knowing and understanding. Rhetorically, there might be some good occasion for referring to such things as “Potemkin knowledges,” analogous to the old “Potemkin Villages.” This fragmentary thought is hardly worthy of a blog […]

Texas Exceptionalism (Texas opts out of common education standards)

Governor Rick Perry announced today that Texas will not submit an application for education funding in the federal government’s “Race to the top” competition. His office issued a press release under the title:  Gov. Perry: Texas Knows Best How to Educate Our Students. Here’s a video clip from his announcement: more about “Office of the […]

Kevin Welner “Obama’s Dalliance with Truthiness” (limited time public access)

“During his campaign, Barack Obama was adept at identifying the Bush administration’s failures to use research responsibly. He assured us that he would not misspend taxpayer dollars on projects that were ideologically appealing but unsupported by facts. No more would policy be based on imaginary or invented evidence at odds with the best knowledge available.

“But those who believed in this promise are now confronted with policy edicts from the Department of Education that are as ill-grounded, dogmatic, and heavy-handed as any that emerged from the prior administration. These edicts are tied to the Department’s “Race to the Top,” a $4.35 billion program that is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus spending.”

Obama team’s support for portfolio assessment

Thanks to Checker Finn’s shop (where they’re not wild about this), we have this news: Tuesday morning on the Diane Rehm Show … Obama staffer Melody Barnes expressed her candidate’s openness to using portfolios to assess student achievement under No Child Left Behind . I don’t have time to blog more now ( I’m turning around […]

principal apologizes for school’s Excellent test results

from The [Cleveland] Plain Dealer: Students pass state test, but at what cost to their education? by Regina Brett Tuesday July 22, 2008, 3:10 PM The school report cards came out in June. Rocky River Middle School passed the 2008 Ohio Achievement Tests, earned an Excellent rating from the state and met the requirements for […]

anti-science in Texas

The following morning, I received a call from the principal. She confirmed that there is no retesting for the Science TAKS. But she also informed me that my son would not be retained in the fifth grade because Science TAKS is not required for promotion! Fifth grade students must pass the Reading and Math TAKS tests in order to be promoted, but they don’t even have to show up for the Science TAKS.

Tom Chapin: “IT’S NOT ON THE TEST”

Extra (Oct. 21, 2008): Breaking news on NCLB & assessment under President Obama ===================== You can play this video here, but be sure to visit Tom Chapin’s site for “It’s not on the test.” Includes Lyrics, Statement, Fact Sheet, Press Info, Advocacy …

“Testing boosts memory, study doesn’t”

A study reported last month in Science is being discussed around the blogosphere under titles like “Testing boosts memory, study doesn’t,” and “Testing, not studying, makes for strong long-term memories.” I think the 2½-page published report of the study itself makes for an excellent item to “test” students’ (I’m thinking now of grad students in […]