WFIU Public Radio
WTIU Public Television
Education experts talk about the pros and cons of standardized tests. We hear from teachers, parents and administrators about their views on the recent changes.
Why would the state institute policies that are punitive rather than supporting the schools of Indiana. ie: grading scales for schools, teachers, etc.
Mr. Redmon admittedly says that the tests should be taken in context, yet IDOE is ready to pull a teacher’s license if two years in a row, students are still not making Enough growth.
How do you respond to the research that 1) retention does not, in itself, ensure or improve learning, 2) retention significantly increases the risk that retained students will later drop out, and 3) retention’s negative effects fall most heavily on poor and minority students?
Note from the Department of Education: IREAD test scores are set to be released in April. Other scores will come out later.
For my children, I want
classrooms that are infused with a culture of literacy. Reading and
writing are meaningful ways of experiencing and processing the world and
communicating with others. A forty-question test meant to identify
students for retention is an instrument of fear. What evidence does the
IDOE have that a culture of intimidation will help students enjoy and
value the act of reading? Unfortunately, I do not get the sense that that is even a goal. Phil Harris touched on this when he made a distinction between whether
children have the ability to read and whether they are actually reading.
Do our kids turn to newspapers, magazines, literature, poetry,
nonfiction to find out about the world, gain insight, be transported to
another time and place, or find solace and communion? Or, in their
“free” time, do they try to avoid the activity that is the focus of so
much sometimes anxious attention at school? This is a question that
IREAD is not even trying to answer, but it is the one that matters to
One of the questions we need to get answered is how much is the State of Indiana spending on the assessment programs? Based on a review of the state budget it looks like we tax payers are supporting over $50,000,000.00 for testing. I suspect we are paying even more but have difficulty sorting out the contracts in the state budget. If this number is even close we aren’t getting much for our money.
The issue of retention needs to be discussed as the consequences of retention is a serious matter for a student. For the state to ignore the increased likelihood of a student who has been retained dropping out is to simply encourage dropouts. To support retention as an intervention and alternative to social promotion is ignoring the facts of the situation. To punish children for being developmentally different is ignoring the fact that children are different and learn differently. Youngsters who learn differently need not be punished !
The use of the standardized test scores to evaluate teachers is not supported by the research or the facts. It must be remembered that only attendence is compulsary. Learning is volunatry and to hold teachers responsible for students learning is simply impossible to do. The student does the learning and the tests do not define learning in any serious way. We have leaders today in our state that do not understand learning nor the teachers role in that process.
When Mr. Bruce was asked “Why would the state adopt something with such high stakes?” in regards to I Read, he seems to have missed the answer. He pushes it off on the State Legislature. However, they did not impose these high stakes. In fact, they seem to have been against it and idoe proceeded anyway. See this link…
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IN Focus is a half-hour monthly program airing on WTIU and WFIU. Each month a panel of experts discusses issues of concern in our community and throughout Indiana. Read more »
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Chief Assessment Officer, Indiana Department of Education
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