Day 118 (of 188) mixed emotions re standardized tests
A year or so ago at an edcamp, during the “Sucks/Doesn’t Suck” conclusion to the day (topic presented, go to “suck” or “doesn’t suck” side and chat why) when the topic “standardized tests” came up, I proudly marched to the “doesn’t suck” side – with more than a couple sideways looks from my colleagues…..
But I feel there is a place for standardized tests – it’s more of a frequency & relevance issue that I have. I believe that there are some very useful standardized tests – especially those that help identify learning challenges.
Although….my own son was identified by one standardized test as having math challenges; another showed he was quite gifted in math….. Which to believe…?
In BC we have yearly Foundation Skills Assessments for grades 4 & 7 (2 of my 3 kids grades) and unlike some, I don’t have any problems with the tests. They are linked to our BC learning outcomes…..at least the traditional learning outcomes (new ones at https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca ) but they are somewhat predictable. I know my youngest will score mostly 3s (on a 1-4 scale) and with my sons anxiety just being willing to take the test is a ‘win’ (and likely 1s maybe some 2s with all the black & white print) – but here’s the odd part – my oldest girl scored mostly 4s & 3s but calls her brother ‘scary smart’…..just not on standardized tests.
I like to refer to any standardized test as ‘checking the oil’. It gives us part of ‘a’ picture, but certainly not the whole whole image. Another analogy: it’s like having a corner piece to a puzzle – helpful (and often good places to start) but you’re not finished, only just begun!
I’d still stand on the “doesn’t suck” side of the room for standardized tests – but maybe not for every standardized test…