Rethinking Testing for the 21st Century

By Elizabeth Rich — June 15, 2010 1 min read
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Today the Memphis Daily News is reporting that, during recent visit to Memphis for the National PTA Convention, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told the paper the current standardized assessment formats do a poor job of challenging students. “Our [student] tests have to become much less simplistic, much less fill in the bubbles,” he said. “We have to stop lying to children. In far too many states around the country, we are lying to children. You tell a child that they are on track to meet an arbitrary benchmark, and in fact they are woefully underprepared. We do them a grave disservice.”

Addressing a question at the PTA convention, Duncan added: “Only by moving beyond basic skills and bubble tests can children develop the critical thinking skills that will one day give them the ability to compete successfully in our increasingly global, increasingly competitive international economy.”

So here’s the question: How would you assess critical thinking skills on a standardized test?

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.