Friday, July 9, 2010

Standardized Testing - Where did it come from and is it right for our students?

In order to understand standardized testing, you must see how it has evolved.

  • Standardized testing dates back to around the 7th Century A.D. in China. To apply for a government or civil service jobs, you had to take knowledge-based tests.
  • Greece in the 5th and 4th Century B.C. Socrates started to test his students verbally.
  • In 1803, written exams were prevalent in Europe.
  • In the United States, 1845 started the written test phenomenon.
  • By 1905, Alfred Binet developed the test of intelligence (IQ).
  • Frederick J. Kelly created the first multiple-choice test in 1914.
  • During WWI the U.S. Army had its cadets take IQ tests.
  • The first Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) was given in 1926.
  • The auto test scanner was invented in 1936.
  • In 1957, due to the Russians launch of Sputnik, American started to question U.S. education.
  • In 1959, the first American College Testing (ACT) was given.
  • 1969 brought with it the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) the assessment for all of education.
Now to the point of whether or not students should be tested in this way. The website states:

“Just how reliable are Standardized tests? As long as the same test conditions as the original test group sample is maintained, the test should be reliable.” The website goes on to state, “Many states have begun to develop standardized testing to meet state standards. Arguments in support claim that there needs to be some proficiency that a student should demonstrate after a year of education. The student, teacher and school need to be accountable for test results. Opponents of standardized testing claim that a single assessment will reduce the quality and levels of learning. They say that students will be trained to take a test because teachers will be forced to ‘teach the test.’” also says, “The question of fairness in comparing is a factor to be considered...Opponents point to the great discrepancies between wealthy school districts that have vast resources and poor districts that can barely maintain their buildings.”

So, what do you think, should students be tested by standardized testing? Should States be developing their own state tests? In the 21st Century, where we are talking about competing globally, is there another way to ensure our students are up to the tasks that lay ahead?

Join us at the 2010 Texas ASCD Annual Conference as Andrew Hargreaves discusses, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and 21st Century Skills are on Mercury: Leadership and Change in School Reform.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am so looking forward to hearing Andy Hargreaves. He is an original thinker.