Wednesday, May 4, 2011


These are the unintended consequences of well-intentioned standards-and-accountability education reforms.

- USA Today Uncovers Widespread Evidence 
of K-12 Test-Score Inflation,
by Donna Goldstein.

We should not care very much about a score on a particular test...What we should be concerned about is the proficiency, the knowledge and skills, that the test score is intended to represent. Gains that are specific to a particular test and that do not generalize to other measures and to performance in the real world are worthless.


His score could determine whether the school was deemed adequate or failing—whether it received government funding or got shut down.

DiMaggio soon learned that his boss was a temp like him. In fact, the boss was only the team leader because he'd once managed a Target store.

DiMaggio found out that the human resources woman who'd hired them both was a temp. He realized that their office space—filled with long tables lined with several hundred computer monitors and generic office chairs—was rented.

Eventually, DiMaggio got used to not asking questions. He got used to skimming the essays as fast as possible, glancing over the responses for about two minutes apiece before clicking a score.

Every so often, though, his thoughts would drift to the school in Arkansas or Ohio or Pennsylvania. If they only knew what was going on behind the scenes.

"The legitimacy of testing is being taken for granted," he says. "It's a farce."

- Inside the multimillion-dollar essay-scoring business,

(All emphasis mine)

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