Friday, July 06, 2007

Standardized Testing Meets Common Sense For the First Time, Ever

“When you look at achievement, every single wealthy suburb has high test scores,” noted Theodore Hershberg, a professor of public policy and history at the University of Pennsylvania. “That’s a terrible way to measure the performance of a school or an individual teacher because what you’re really looking at is family background or family income.”--NYT, "Schools Move Toward Following Students' Yearly Progress on Tests", 7.6.07

Good article in today's Times about the move to follow the kids instead of the school in standardized testing evaluation. Known as "growth models", the patently simple idea is to:

"track the progress of students as they move from grade to grade rather than comparing, say, this year’s fourth graders with last year’s, the traditional approach."

Lots of interesting stuff for those interested in such things, including (gasp) mentions of the impact on testing "gifted" kids and the quote above regarding the correlation of wealth and scores. I'd suggest everyone read the article, and yes, this material will be on the exam.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

I Googled "growth model" and wondered if NM had submitted to be part of this pilot. I'm guessing, considering the use of the index model, that NM has not.
It seems unions don't like this approach because it actually holds teachers accountable for what kids do/do not learn and feel that the measurements are not solid.
I don't know, really, but this is definitely a curious direction.
It seems to me that the measures are more appropriate.
I'll have to keep my eye on this.
Thanks for the link.