Dear Letters to the Editor;
How often should workers at the work place be evaluated, or how often should pupils in the public schools be assessed with the use of standardized tests? The latter has caused problems in selected school districts in which teachers have refused to administer more standardized tests. These teachers, among other educators advocate more time be given to teaching and less to standardized testing.
One well designed standardized test should be the maximum number given per year to pupils. This provides selected data to the lay public on how well a child does in school in comparison to other pupils within a state or nation. This leaves much room for more informal procedures of evaluating learner progress such as using
* teacher written tests.
* large group and small group discussions. A teacher who is a good discussion leader can ascertain much about what each pupil has learned through answers and responses made to questions, as well as solutions to problems.
* the quality of home work completed
* teacher observation of pupil interest and perseverance in learning.
* social development as well as respect for others.
A major problem of standardized tests is their lack of alignment with instructional materials utilized in the classroom. In a recent report, most textbooks have made few or no revisions when relating to objectives in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), even though they were advertised to do so. It takes considerable teacher time to harmonize one's teaching with the objectives of a standardized test. This is even more important when high stakes testing is in evidence such as in promoting a pupil to the next higher grade level unless the test was passed, as in No Child Left Behind (NCLB), for grades three through eight.
— Marlow Ediger, North Newton