Saturday, February 21, 2015

Excellent New Book About Testing

I've just finished reading a new book about testing -- The Test: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed With Standardized Testing -- But You Don't Have To Be, by Anya Kamenetz.  Although I would take issue with part of the book's title (schools and educators are having the testing mania foisted on them -- they are not naturally obsessed with testing), the book is well researched, interesting, and well worth reading.  Kamanetz does an excellent job of demonstrating the harm caused to children and schools by the current obsession with standardized testing, and also includes an excellent and enlightening history of standardized testing.  I was most surprised (and delighted), though, by the section of the book entitled "Measuring What Matters" in which Kamanetz describes four new trends in assessment; it made me feel there is hope for the future, and that it is possible that we may develop something better before the current trends destroy public education.  She also includes an excellent final section for parents with strategies that can help them minimize the harm to their children.  Anyway -- well worth reading, I think!

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