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Too reliant on testing

The school year began with announcements of the results of ACT and SAT test scores. Several cities, including Moscow, showed very nice achievement scores. The SAT is comprised of 78 verbal questions and 60 math questions. Students have 150 minutes total time to show the effects of one year’s academic efforts.

Students taking the ACT have a total of 215 questions in English, math, reading and scientific reasoning. Students are then given a total of 178 minutes to complete the tests. These tests correlate rather highly.

So off we go again throwing our taxpayer dollars to testing companies and not one of these tests provides informative feedback to either the student or the teacher. The test scores are just meaningless numbers. How can a teacher improve instruction if there is no meaningful feedback?

Teachers need to know what concepts are mastered and which are not. My point is that 180 school days are evaluated in just a couple of hours of multiple-choice tests. Haven’t we been here before?

Donald Orlich



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