Saturday, April 21, 2012

Are Standardized Tests Valid?

In an era where standardized test not only drive the curriculum, but also affect teacher performance appraisals and what students are promoted, we need to worry about the validity of these tests. Do multiple choices really serve to tell us who the best teachers are, or what students can accomplish?

A recent press release about an invalid question on the New York State exam has raised the issue of not only the absurdity of one test question, but other test questions as well. 

The controversy has surrounded a reading passage, "The Hare and the Pineapple" and the multiple choice question that followed. These screen shots are from The Washington Post story listed below.

Here are links to some of those stories.  I found this group on Larry Ferlazzo's Best Posts of the Day:

State Scraps “Pineapple” Test Question is from The New York Times.
‘Talking pineapple’ question on standardized test baffles students is from Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.
Now that you have reviewed these articles, how do you weigh in on the issue?