January 27, 2013
Does Prepping for High-Stakes Test Interfere with Teaching?
The purpose of any teacher is to ensure the best education her students could get. Student learning should based on cognitive thinking skills and learning, not just declarative knowledge and basic skills. In the United States, however, high-stakes testing has complicated these efforts, and are used to process a student’s knowledge and the effective ways of teaching. These high-stakes tests are being used to compare students, schools, and school boards across the nation for each district. Teachers and school administrators are often blamed for poor test results of students, that are then reported to the media.
High-stakes testing if used correctly can help a teacher know a student’s strengths and weaknesses in school so as to better help them succeed. A high-stakes test is one that is given and graded under strictly monitored conditions. These tests are used in grades K-8 and once in high school to measure learning outcomes of students. Students typically take norm-based tests comparing their knowlegeability to a small part of student body in a norm-group. Other students undertake criteria-based testing to compare their knowledgeability or a standard of acceptable status in a certain area.
Issues with Teaching to Test
Very little people would argue against the necessity of providing teachers and students with the information on the procedure of a high-stakes test or its format. Even the brightest student could miss one item or more if they do not understand how a test is formatted and meant to be carried out. Teachers have to be taught what an appropriate time limit is for test taking familiarization yes but they also need not sacrifice important curricular content in the hopes of
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