Standardized Tests Do Not Track Individual Learning

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To the Editor:

In his Commentary "It's Not the Test That Made Them Cheat," on the Atlanta cheating scandal, Michael J. Feuer is correct in arguing there is no legitimate excuse for cheating.

But he is at least disingenuous when he makes the case for the benefits of testing by saying tests help teachers gauge "individual learning, ... provide objective indicators of student achievement, and expose inequalities in the allocation of educational resources."

Standardized tests (which are the issue here) don't provide timely information to teachers. They indicate student achievement only if achievement is synonymous with test scores. And if we need test scores to expose inequalities in the system, we are either in denial or not living in the real world.

Ronald A. Wolk
Warwick, R.I.
The writer is the founding editor of Education Week and the chair emeritus of the board of its nonprofit parent corporation, Editorial Projects in Education.

Vol. 32, Issue 30, Page 28

Published in Print: May 8, 2013, as Standardized Tests Do Not Track Individual Learning
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