Thursday, July 19, 2012

Duncan's new tests may be worse than the old ones

Arne Duncan's been telling us for years now, that the only problem with current standardized testing mania is the quality of the tests. So he's put together a consortium of testing experts, using $330 million in stimulus money through the federal Race to the Top competition, to design new "next-generation assessments" intended to measure critical thinking, particularly the critical skills emphasized by the Common Core State Standards.

Problem is, some of these new tests are in many ways even worse than the old ones. This according to a survey of  "education insiders" due to be published this week. 

Joy Resmovits at Huffington reports
Beyond the tests, the insiders believe that the Common Core itself faces a rocky path. School districts "are very unprepared" for the new standards, according to 80 percent of respondents, and only one-quarter believe teachers have "very strong" support for the Common Core. On the other hand, commercial vendors, three-quarters of "insiders" say, have strong or very strong support for the Common Core.


  1. Duncan wants teachers to teach higher order thinking yet he and his bff 1%ers are on a campaign to dumb down teacher education:

    Duncan's immunity from his and his ilk's own hypocrisy would be funny, if it wasn't so tragic.

  2. Duncan is also arm-twisting the state to speed up the use of these untested tests, which correlate to untested standards undergirding as-of-yet unwritten curriculum, to evaluate teacher performance, as part of the NCLB waiver process.

    As a person who works in public school IT, I can tell you that if these tests are online, there is simply no way at all that any of this is going to happen with the level of integrity required in standardized testing. The only people who will contradict me are people selling tests, computer equipment, or who have no direct knowledge about how computer labs work, how wi-fi works, or what it's like to teach.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.