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Educator: Despite Protests, Test-Based Accountability Is Here To Stay

Educator: Despite Protests, Test-Based Accountability Is Here To Stay

Parents and teachers across the U.S. are continually debating whether or not Common Core-aligned testing is worthwhile. With all of this tension, is it safe to say that standardized testing is making its way out the door?

Kevin G. Welner, a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder’s School of Education answers the question in his article featured on The Washington Post.

“A growing number of parents are opting their children out of state testing,” Welner said. “This is in large part a protest against the continued escalation of the standardized testing needed to ground the corresponding escalation of accountability policies.”

Welner said if politicians choose to hold teachers accountable for their students’ test scores, “they must have comprehensive data sets that allow for the possibility of following small differences in those scores over time.”

“A large and convincing body of authoritative evidence suggests that this is a fool’s errand – that attempts to somehow attribute these small differences to teachers and principals run into insurmountable validity hurdles,” he said. “This is true even when the test focuses on the teacher’s subject – e.g., scores from reading comprehension tests used to evaluate a language arts teacher.

Welner said that these type of reform waves “have come and gone throughout the history of American schooling.”

“Less than two decades earlier there had been another testing wave, and it had fizzled,” he said.

Welner said that despite a number of backlash, standardized testing “will remain firmly in place, at least in the near term.”

“Reforms like test-based accountability give us the feeling of doing something—of demanding excellence—without providing the capacity to achieve our goals,” he said. “Continuing down that path will continue to leave us disappointed. But, opt-out or no opt-out, that’s where we’re still headed.”

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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