Opinion
Assessment Letter to the Editor

Technology Provides the Means For Rethinking Use of Testing

May 21, 2013 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

The rifts described in the front-page article in the May 8 issue are obviously between adults and have little to do with children (“Rifts Deepen Over Direction of Education Policy in U.S.”).

This battle royal about testing, among other issues, brings to mind how a friend characterized it: “Traditional testing is an autopsy.” We are arguing about how and why, at the end of the school year, our children are subjected to tests that are supposed to determine the fate of the adults who teach them and affect their own learning experience.

That’s the way we’ve always done it, and that’s the hallmark of the accountability movement that was part of the No Child Left Behind Act—itself an attempt by the federal government to find out whether its Title I funds were actually being spent to help underserved students.

Wake up, people.

Incorporating technology as an integral part of the curriculum does away with the need for year-end, high-stakes testing. It gives students constant feedback, teachers daily opportunities to work on their students’ specific needs, and taxpayers a way not only to track performance but to help all students achieve their potential.

Instead of the investment of so much treasure by both sides in this emperor-has-no-clothes argument, America’s children would be much better served if the adults realized there is an outside-the-box 21st-century solution that’s just waiting to be implemented.

Gisèle Huff

Executive Director

Jaquelin Hume Foundation

San Francisco, Calif.

The author is also chairman of the board of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, based in San Mateo, Calif.

A version of this article appeared in the May 22, 2013 edition of Education Week as Technology Provides the Means For Rethinking Use of Testing

Events

Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
Mission Possible: Saving Time While Improving Student Outcomes
Learn how district leaders are maximizing instructional time and finding the best resources for student success through their MTSS framework.
Content provided by Panorama Education
Reading & Literacy K-12 Essentials Forum Writing and the Science of Reading
Join us for this free event as we highlight and discuss the intersection of reading and writing with Education Week reporters and expert guests.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Assessment A Huge Publisher and a Big Testing Company Are Teaming Up. What This Means for Educators
Four key questions to consider about how the pairing of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NWEA might affect educators.
3 min read
Students testing.
Getty
Assessment Spotlight Spotlight on Assessment
This Spotlight will help you examine updated testing guidance from the U.S. Dept. of Ed, analyze college-placement test scores, and more.

Assessment Opinion We Are More Than Our Grades: A Student's Perspective
Students have come to believe that their GPA and test scores are the ultimate reflection of their self-worth, writes a college senior.
Bailey Striepling
3 min read
Conceptual illustration of Students emerging from a field of giant discarded letter grades.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty Images
Assessment Letter to the Editor Grading for Growth Through Competency-Based Education
Competency-based education can better prepare today's children for tomorrow's challenges, writes this letter to the editor.
1 min read
Illustration of an open laptop receiving an email.
iStock/Getty