Opinion: Peeling the assessment onion

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is the focus of much controversy to date about the testing’s potential effects on state and local governments, with respect to their budgets, on school districts, with respect to their curricula, and on teachers, with respect to their salaries. We need to “peel” the assessment “onion” to look at its potential effects on the core group — the students, who are most directly affected by any testing program.

That is, we need to look at the test itself and evaluate its effect, on us older, smarter balanced folks.

I just took the grade 7 math “Practice Test” at home, and you can, too. Readers may sign in as a “Guest” to take the test by clicking here.

Software? See the CALCULATOR and Notepad buttons. One might expect these to be helpful. However, the online calculator is not the more commonly used scientific/graphing calculator that can display an entire arithmetic expression, and the online Notepad is probably less effective than pencil and paper for a student’s scratch work.

Margaret Cibes is a retired math and statistics teacher. She’s a contributor to the Media Clips department of the Mathematics Teacher journal and the Chance News wiki.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.


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