5 Things Our District Can Do Right Now to Fix Standardized Testing

Yesterday I outlined my concern that standardized tests have taken on outsized importance in our schools.  Today let me share some thoughts on what we might do about it. Much of the standardized testing done in the schools, including the PSSAs and Keystone exams, are required by state mandates.  The state even dictates such things […]

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What Vietnam Can Teach Us About Standardized Testing

Have you seen the Vietnam War documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick?   Episode 4 highlights the tragic results of attempts by American leaders at that time to quantify success and failure in the conflict.  “The problem with the war– as it often is — are the metrics,” explains decorated American commander Jim Willbanks, “if […]

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Just the Tip of the Standardized Testing Iceberg

photo courtesy of Jos Browning, freeimages.com ​The Morning Call ran a good article yesterday about state officials pulling back some from their obsession with standardized testing.   The Department of Education is cutting the equivalent of two days worth of state-mandated PSSA testing in grades three through eight.  The weight given to the test scores […]

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2 Ways Standardized Testing Hurts Us Right Now

photo credit: Benjamin Chun via photopin cc Two recent issues in our school district– the tough budget and the many snow days– have reminded me of the many concrete ways in which the relentless obsession with standardized testing hurts our ability to provide the highest quality education to our children. Wasted Money In terms of […]

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Opting Out of the PSSAs

The relentless focus on standardized tests in the schools needs to be changed. There is an interesting op-ed about parents in the Pittsburgh area who have opted-out of taking the PSSAs. I didn’t actually know parents had this choice in PA!  Link: “Why I won’t let my son take the PSSA” The problem, though, is a […]

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Models for Public School Success

The Atlantic has an interesting article on the Finish education system in its latest issue. No standardized tests, no school choice, and no teacher ‘accountability’, yet one of the best systems in the world. Yes, Finland has a much different population than the U.S., but the article addresses that issue too:  “What Americans Keep Ignoring […]

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