Sunday, April 13, 2014

Don't Just Assess Students - Teach Them How To Improve

Pedro Noguera, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and a leading voice on public education, looks to the future of schooling, arguing that increasing the amount of high-stakes testing kids must take and raising assessment standards is not the way to change the system. He shows audiences what the face of education looks like today—and how governments and policy makers can change the system to create a brighter future. "We have been using assessment largely for the purpose of ranking students and ranking schools...[but] ranking someone is not helping them." He agrees that assessment is important to determine if a student has learned the required material to be successful in higher education or in the workforce. Where he sees a problem, however, is when students and schools aren't provided with the guidance to improve upon their weaker skills.
-- Read article on New York Times: "Serving the Vulnerable, Not Just Testing". Here Noguera argues that more testing doesn't provide educational equity. According to him No Child Left Behind looked like a way to ensure that our nation served all children. Instead it led to high-stakes testing. While funding for testing has skyrocketed, vital programs in science, history, music and art, have been cut, especially in the schools serving the poorest children. Meanwhile, dropout rates remain high and achievement indicators in literacy and math are stagnant.

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