Sent to The Nation
David Kirk (“The rebellion against high-stakes testing,” May 27) feels that the common core offers “an opportunity to recognize the mistakes of the No Child Left Behind era.”
Enforcing the new standards will require testing far beyond the already excessive levels demanded by NCLB. Documents from the US Department of Education and PARCC, one of the organizations developing the tests, make it clear that testing done at the end of the school year will be expanded to include all subjects that can be tested and more grade levels (K-12!). There will be “interim” tests given through the year and there may be pretests in the fall to measure growth through the school year.
This means about a 20-fold increase in testing over NCLB.
The cost of implementing these electronically delivered national tests will be enormous and we can expect it to increase, as computer upgrades and replacements are inevitable, bleeding money from legitimate and valuable school activities.
There is no evidence that all this testing will improve things. In fact, the evidence we have now strongly suggests that increasing testing does not increase achievement.
Original article: http://www.susanohanian.org/core.php?id=484
Testing in more subjects: The Blueprint A Blueprint for Reform: The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. United States Department of Education March 2010
In earlier and later grades: PARCC document: http://www.parcconline.org/sites/parcc/files/PARCC%20MCF%20Response%20to%20Public%20Feedback_%20Fall%202011%20Release.pdf
K-12 testing: http://www.achieve.org/parcc
Interim tests: Duncan, A. September 9, 2010. Beyond the Bubble Tests: The Next Generation of Assessments -- Secretary Arne Duncan's Remarks to State Leaders at Achieve's American Diploma Project Leadership Team Meeting: . The Blueprint, (op. cit.) p. 11.
Increasing testing does not increase achievement: Nichols, S., Glass, G., and Berliner, D. 2006. High-stakes testing and student achievement: Does accountability increase student learning? Education Policy Archives 14(1). http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v14n1/. OECD. Tienken, C., 2011. Common core standards: An example of data-less decision-making. Journal of Scholarship and Practice. American Association of School Administrators [AASA], 7(4): 3-18. http://www.aasa.org/jsp.aspx.