Rethinking standardized testing

/ 18 April 2013 / eunice

The Daily Circuit, Minnesota Public Radio, April 18, 2013 – Minnesota business leaders, teachers and even the Department of Education all think students are taking too many standardized tests.

Currently, Minnesota students take both statewide MCA tests and district MAP tests during grades three through eight and then take a series of GRAD tests in high school.

Critics say the tests are too frequent as well as ineffective at showing teachers where students need improvement in a timely fashion. By the time teachers get most results for their students’ MCAs, they are on summer break.

In addition, the GRAD tests have come under scrutiny for being too difficult and not aligned with what colleges are looking for. “A passing score on the math exam equates to a score of 19 on the math portion of the ACT, while many colleges only require an 18 to enroll,” reports MPR News’ Tim Post.

This drive for reform comes at a time when many states are pushing back against current standardized testing. New York, for example, has developed new, more rigorous tests to match federal Common Core standards, while Texas lawmakers are attempting to reduce the number of tests that students need to pass in order to graduate from 15 to five.

AUDIO –</p>

  • Rethinking standardized testing (program audio)

    • State considers new ways of testing students. MPR News looks at what Minnesota is trying to do to revamp testing across the state.

    • An alternative to standardized testing for student assessment. Commentary from FairTest director Monty Neill about how to do assess students without test scores.

    • In Defense of School Testing. Commentary from the author of “Brilliant: The New Science of Smart” about the positives of high-stakes testing.

    • A brief history of standardized testing. Time provides a primer on the history and origins of standardized testing.

    • Can you pass the mathematics GRAD test for high-school students? MinnPost challenges you to see if you can pass the test.