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Why Congress should end reliance on standardized testing

from The Washington Post (commentary)

Education Secretary Arne Duncan admits that No Child Left Behind and its reliance on standardized, fill-in-the-bubble, multiple guess tests both dumbs down and narrows instruction. The secretary promises that new consortiums working on assessments will produce "a new test" he claims will "measure what children know across the full range of college and career-ready standards, and measures other skills, such as critical-thinking ability." Expressing doubt, people are hoping he doesn't define "new test" as "one test" because that will never accomplish what he claims he wants: An assessment that measures a broad spectrum of students abilities. Further, unless these new tests are uncoupled from the high stakes they currently invoke — such as punishments for schools and teachers — they will be just another standardized, easily scored exam that tell us little about what is really going on in our classrooms. more

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