My “concerns for public education series” is ready for the letter V. My topic for V has been briefly addressed in the past. V will represent the concern of finding valid assessment in public education.
As many of you know, I discussed the concerns of standardized testing in a previous article. Those concerns still exist and likely will for several years to come.
Finding a test that gives unconditional valid results of student learning and knowledge as well as the teaching of educators is a great concern to administrators and overseers of public education systems.
Finding a valid means of assessing all students is chore for the public education system. While some tests work well for some students, a proper test should be valid for all students. A valid test will give the same results for a child under any circumstance. A valid test will evaluate a child’s knowledge and thinking abilities.
Many worry that standardized assessments do not accurately assess the thinking abilities of students. Standardized assessments can be more directed toward one area of students and not coincide with vocabulary and teaching methods.
Tests that more accurately assess critical thinking skills are more lengthy to grade and cost more money. Therefore, they are usually not an option for public education systems. Portfolios take a lot of time on the part of educators and are also lengthy to evaluate. Therefore they too are usually not options for many public school systems.
Finding a valid assessment to evaluate the amount of knowledge that a students learns is a very long and drawn out process. While there is much criticism about the standardized tests that are presently being used, they are likely our best option for time and money so far. It will remain a concern to our public education systems to continue to look for better options that more accurately assess the students and are still affordable to the budget.
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