Sunday, November 4, 2007

It Is All About Alignment

You will often hear educators and parents who are against standardized assessment say that high stakes testing just makes teachers teach toward the test. As an educator and parent who values accountability, I say, why not teach toward the test. If the guiding standard is good enough and curriculum and instruction are aligned, then why not teach toward the test. At the very least we are holding teachers and students accountable.

With that said, I understand that some states have standards that are not strong enough or aligned enough with the assessment. This does offer a pitfall. But, rather than bashing the assessment piece, let's work toward making sure every state has strong standards, curriculum, and instruction. Let's ensure that every student can reach a high standard and that we will offer safety nets to ensure their success.

I found this article, What's So Bad About Teaching to the Test?, very informative. If you want to find out how your state's standards and assessments measure up, be sure to click on the study by the American Federation of Teachers and scroll down to page 8.

In my state, Florida, we appear to measure up in Math and Science across the board in grades 3 through high school. However, our Reading analysis is scary with only grades 3 and 4 meeting the recommendations. Hopefully, my state will take a good hard look at this data to make needed improvements.

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