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Links of the Day:

– Another testing brouhaha has erupted in New York State. Weeks after students sat down for lengthy standardized tests, the state is administering more tests. These tests are not for credit. They help the state’s testing company, Pearson, develop future tests.

Rochester school board member Mary Adams is calling on parents to boycott these “field tests.” She is directing people to a website with form letters to give to principals opting their children out of exams.

“It’s basically corporate research and development being done with our kids,” Adams said.

Some parents, disturbed by the culture of high-stakes testing and flawed questions, are already boycotting the actual tests.

But doesn’t this field testing prevent scandals like “pineapple-gate?” Some downstate parents told Gannett that’s not the point:

“We’re all thinking (that) giving our kids another test is the wrong way to go. It’s taking another learning opportunity away from the kids, time that teachers would work on critical thinking skills, and it just takes another block of time for tests that don’t mean anything when the kids had field test questions in the (standardized) tests,” (Jen Marraccino) said. “The method of the boycott would be turning in a letter saying they don’t want their kids taking the test; give my child another, alternative, educational opportunity.”

– The head of the Rochester Business Alliance is convinced Albany is ignoring us. Sandy Parker says Rochester even got stiffed on road funding.

– What was American thinking during Urban Renewal? Check out photos of Batavia’s destruction.

– Why are so many hotels and motels around here owned by people with the last name Patel? The Buffalo News tells us about a little-known “immigrant success story.”

Can a 9-year-old be diagnosed a psychopath?

2 Responses to Testing the Tests

  1. May 14, 2012 at 8:38 am Reggie Henderson responds:

    Measuring acquired and innate knowledge and abilities, comparing those between students, directing students and teachers towards more effective techniques. I believe those are important. There are some that prefer other methods for making choices about who’s teaching, what’s to be taught, what methods will be used, and which students will be selected for targeted instruction, and eventually more challenging instruction leading to selection for higher level learning. You could do it based on income-level, race, social connections, or even just the social skills of the child (who’s the best looking? who’s an effective teacher’s pet). I feel that testing is an unbiased and important part of the way students are evaluated and I am happy for my child to get practice at testing and contribute to the development for better tests. But I grew up feeling that others were more likely to get the advantages and be chosen ahead based on social connections and popularity, and obviously there are those who “aren’t good test takers” who would prefer to be evaluated another way.

  2. May 14, 2012 at 10:22 pm Chris Hollander responds:

    When companies are doing these type of things, they usually find a group of people, and compensate them for their time aka focus groups. It’s not fair to our kids in school to take away another day of lessons for an exam that will only help with future exams.

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