Grant Wiggins' new blogpost, on RADICAL TEST PREP
- All,Some interesting thoughts about preparing students for the standardized tests below.I would take this to another level pay saying that we also need to look at our physicalfacilitates and make sure we have a healthy school, properly ventilated for the studentsto take their tests.
manMansel A NelsonProgram CoordinatorTribal Environmental Education Outreach928-523-1275
Begin forwarded message:
Grant Wiggins' new blogpost, on RADICAL TEST PREPI find this new blogpost by Grant Wiggins (of Backward Design by Wiggins & Tighe) a delight. Do you know math teachers who will find it useful?-- Jane Jacksonby grantwigginsApril is test-prep month (apparently). So, what better use of my blog than to provide harried readers with some test-prep tips?But beware: the tips I am going to provide are very different than the thoughtless and passive-aggressive ones you get from most people offering such tips.1. ³I¹d love to teach for understanding, but there¹s so much to Œcover¹ for the test.² Huh? You have to teach badly to raise test scores??? Here is what you are really saying when you say that: ³Gee I¹d like to teach for understanding, but I can¹t; I¹d like to make sure that students are really engaged in their work, and that they really see the value and connections to other learnings but we don¹t have time for thatŠ² Well, then don¹t be surprised if they aren¹t engaged, can¹t connect what they learn, and thus don¹t do well on the test.
There is no data to suggest that teaching worse raises scores; there is no data to suggest that superficially covering content improves student performance. (In fact, as Hattie and Marzano point out, there is plenty of data to show that a constant dose of higher-order questioning locally raises test scores considerably.) Alas, the current results (especially NAEP which is a harbinger of the new consortium tests) show that students do poorly on all but the low-level questions on the tests; and that student performance on higher-order questions has been flat for decades.
[He ends with this statement:]
Do I like our over-emphasis on tests? I do not. Do I think all the tests are well-designed? I do not. But this I know, from years of looking at all the released tests at the state and national level, and working with staffs on local assessment issues: the results are meaningful in broad brush strokes. Really good schools get good results; really weak schools do not. All difficult questions involve higher-order inferencing. And few local tests match the rigor of state tests. Most educators do not seem to understand what external tests are testing transfer, not recall. And most educators have an insufficient understanding of how test validity works to properly prepare their students. And so we get ³test prep² regimes that cannot possibly succeed at achieving excellent results.
Isn¹t it time you worked with colleagues to call into question these knee-jerk and intellectually bankrupt approaches to dealing with tests? Isn¹t it time local assessment was more rigorous than the state once-a-year audit of local performance?