A Seamless System of Assessments
Is testing a waste of time? Teachers seem to think so. In a 2006 survey, 71 percent of them said that students took too many standardized tests, and 62 percent called testing a “necessary evil.”
Yet when Oregon introduced its online testing system, which allows students to take the tests up to three times a year, teachers embraced it. They apparently did not think the testing burden was either excessive or evil.
Why? Because the Oregon test delivers near-instantaneous results that show teachers how students perform on particular content strands, such as geometry or measurement. Teachers can use the information in real time to adjust instruction and devote additional attention to students in areas where they need help. For these teachers, tests are not separate from instruction; they...
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