Series: White People Homework (23) Will This Be On the Test?

Note: I’m just beginning to dig into this.

I’ve been trying to find what my Twitter friend Jennifer Binis describes as Black parents asking for standardized testing from a historical perspective. I will in good faith ask her, because I know she’s an educational historian and scholar. When she and I have had the conversation and exchange of ideas about the state standardized testing, created by Pearson and presumably based on Common Core Standards, all I have to offer are my own observational and test data: the test sucks. It’s biased, racist, and does not achieve the educational equity that may have been its original intent. If we go by intent versus impact, its impact is overwhelmingly damaging. During the COVID19 shut down, the testing was either cancelled outright or put on hold. It costs districts millions. It takes up weeks out of the 180 days of educational instruction time, and speaking for the ELA (reading/writing) uses dissected and random autopsies of texts for students to show their “skills” but never strategies, background or contextual knowledge. Teachers struggle to teach strategies, background or contextual knowledge because of this cursed assessment.

It looks like the beginning of the end of America’s obsession with student standardized tests

History of Standardized Testing in the United States

The Racist Beginnings of Standardized Testing

What would many of us like to see instead? Project-based learning based on cross-content disciplines, portfolios, etc. There are many other more authentic assessments, both formative and summative, that we can look toward.

I’m planning on doing more research this summer regarding assessments, and found this in the meantime:

If anyone would like to join me, I’ve got my #2 pencil ready and am ready to learn.