Jason Stanford: Testing is a lousy way to hold schools accountable

Reblogged from the GazetteXtra

The problem with a lie—even one that everyone agrees with—is that eventually you can’t ignore the truth. Enron can’t paper over debt and crashes. The housing bubble pops. Now, as the rush toward using standardized test scores to evaluate teachers turns into a retreat, it might be time to face that standardized tests are a lousy way to hold schools accountable.

We’ve been using bubble tests to hold schools and students accountable for a long time, mostly without anyone asking tough questions about whether the scores were valid measures. Controversy over student testing was slow to develop and then mostly concerned the number of tests and the harsh consequences. We never asked whether the thermometer really measured the temperature, even though our education system is based upon the validity of these tests.

That’s why it’s a shock to see the sudden blowback against using these test scores to rate teachers. The snake oil… Read the rest>>