Welsh Improve Education by Questioning Culture of Testing, U.S. to take Lessons

Thanks to @teachersupport who passed this along:

Educational authorities in Wales struggle to improve their low educational achievement problem, citing – get this — “The tick-box culture of the last decade has taken away valuable resources and time from teaching. Targets are so low and broad that schools chase Government-set targets, not an all-round education.” — culture of standardized test!

Popham has explained in his Truth About Testing how the impetus to test teachers via statistics of standardized tests has meant that authorities lower the bar as much as is possible. Therefore what we have is teaching to the lowest possible set of factoids. This is very much different from teaching to the highest bar of mastering a field and creating self-starting learners. Wales, a step ahead of us in the United States, has already begun to talk about the testing culture AS the problem!

Well, let’s be honest, here in the United States, we have some underlying problems. Instituting a testing culture was meant to be the answer to those problems. Those tests were intended to increase rigor. Unfortunately, that is not what happened. They might have increased happiness among parents, but the real result in the classroom was increasing the entitlement mentality and lowering engagement of the students. Now we need more solutions.

If you are a classroom teacher or a researcher in this field, what do you suggest to improve education in your region?

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