I am positive we would all agree we probably over-test our students. However, the reality is, we have a thirst for data and evaluation, and it is an ever-growing desire. In the article named “History of Testing in the United States,” the author states, “Large-scale standardized tests have enjoyed more than a century of popularity and growth …. Over time, they have also become controversial …” (Nettles, 2019). Just this past week, we were instructed at my high school to develop and implement a department plan to collect data on our students through an alternative method (not what the district provides through standardized testing and EOC exams). In the journal article “High-Stakes Testing Hasn’t Brought Education Gains,” the author states, “over-tested climate for the sake of producing data that confirms what everyone already knows: Their schools lack the needed supports” (Dianis et al., 2015). This indeed emphasizes the concern that we know what we are doing, but we are ill-equip to make the necessary changes.
Ironically, most departments at my high school were quite frazzled by this data collection request. Fortunately, last year, I had required all my Business Education and Practical Arts teachers to utilize an online program called Socrative. This program provides student statistics on varying aspects of tests and quizzes that a teacher creates. Online resources like this one, are one of many that are available to educators at every level.
Still, we know testing is necessary, at times complicated, and challenging to implement. How do we find time actually to teach? Well, of course, we do. But what if we could change how we as educators evaluate our students. After reviewing the video, “Evaluation” the author emphasizes, “The act of giving feedback following the analysis of a process, accomplishment or combination thereof” is the fundamental meaning of evaluation (Lalande, 2014). We agree we need it, and we know there could potentially be another way to evaluate and engage with our students. Furthermore, the author of this video goes on the reiterate all the typical ways students are tested and retested, but he also mentions if we were able to test students with open-access technology, we could develop new pathways of evaluation and student feedback. Finally, the author mentions how technology would “Force” educators to figure-out innovate ways to test students (Lalande, 2014). These new ways have not been invented yet, but it is exciting to think it is a possibility.
Dianis, J. B., Jackson, J. J., & Noguera, P. (2015). High-Stakes Testing Hasn’t Brought Education Gains. Phi
Delta Kappan Vol. 97 p. 35-37
Lalande, Marc-André (2014). Evaluation.
Nettles, Michael T. (2019). History of Testing in the United States. The ANNALS of the American Academy of
Political and Social Science, Vol. 683, Iss. 1, pp. 38-55.