Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

Standardized Testing




Obama Administration Releases Final Testing Regulations for ESSA

Summary: The U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday released final regulations and new guidance governing how testing is supposed to work under the Every Student Succeeds Act. It also announced $8 million in grants to states to improve science tests.

Source: Alyson Klein, Education Week, December 7, 2016

Categories:  Standardized Testing, Assessment Tools, ESSA, Student Achievement



John Hattie

Dr. John Hattie: Assessment Should Measure Teachers’ Impact

Summary:  This is an interview with Dr. John Hattie, educational researcher from New Zealand, who speaks with Education DIVE about assessment practices and the possible use of assessments to help teachers understand how students learn.

Source:  Roger Riddell, Education DIVE, July 21, 2016

Categories: Student Achievement, Standardized Testing,




USC Professor Urges New Definition of Student Achievement

Summary:  Morgan Polikoff, an associate professor at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education, is calling on the federal government to stop measuring student achievement based on the percentage of students who score as proficient on standardized tests.

Source:  Tara Garcia Mathewson, Education DIVE, July 19, 2016

Categories:  Standardized Testing, Student Achievement



Testing for Joy and Grit? Schools Nationwide Push to Measure Students’ Emotional Skills

Summary:  This article presents various perspectives on the proposal to have states include a non-academic measure in grading school performance.  The resulting discussion concerns how to measure social-emotional skills and even what skills should be measured.  Some believe that testing these non-academic skills is contradictory.  Others look for SEL test results to provide justification for funding SEL programs.

Source: Kate Zernicke, The New York Times, February 29, 2016

Categories: Core Values, Grit, Standardized Testing



The newest fad in education — and why some teachers find it troubling

Summary:  It’s called “competency-based learning” and its the newest thing in education. What is it? Who likes it? Who doesn’t and why?  On its face, competency-based learning sounds good. Students learn material and move on when they have mastered the material, going at their own pace. But how exactly do students get this sort of education and what are the consequences?

Source:  Valerie Strauss, The Washington Post, February 27, 2016

Categories:  Student Achievement, Standardized Testing, Technology



What should districts keep in mind when weighing new federal testing guidelines?

Summary:  In a video released last week by the U.S. Department of Education, acting Secretary of Education Dr. John B. King Jr. discussed ways states can get rid of poor quality, redundant, and “unhelpful” testing. The YouTube clip, announced via press release, came alongside a written letter setting guidelines for states to implement President Barack Obama’s Testing Action Plan.

Source:  Erin McIntyre, Education DIVE, February 11, 2016

Categories:  Standardized Testing, Student Achievement



PARCC Scores Lower for Students Who Took Exams on Computers

Summary:  Students who took the 2014-15 PARCC exams via computer tended to score lower than those who took the exams with paper and pencil—a revelation that prompts questions about the validity of the test results and poses potentially big problems for state and district leaders.

Source:  Benjamin Herold, Education Week, February 3, 2016

Categories:  Standardized Testing, Student Achievement, Technology



Is the Drive for Success Making Our Children Sick?

Summary:  This article presents the results of research done at a California high school about the effect of the push for high achievement on students’ mental and physical health.  The study found a significant number of students suffering fro both stress and anxiety in the race to succeed on high-stakes tests.

Source:  Vicki Abeles, New York Times Sunday Review, January 2, 2016

Categories:  Mental Health, Student Achievement, Standardized Testing



How the College Board changed its standardized testing approach

Summary:  In this article, College Board President and CEO David Coleman admits that the current standardized testing model is broken and he cites four rules for assessments that advance opportunity for students taking the test.

Source:  Roger Riddell, Education DIVE, September 22, 2015

Categories:  Standardized Testing, Student Achievement



U.S. Schools Are Too Focused on Standardized Tests, Poll Says

Summary:  Americans overwhelmingly think there is too much emphasis on standardized testing in public schools and that test scores are not the best way to judge schools, teachers or students, according to a national poll.  The results released Sunday come from the 47th annual PDK/Gallup poll of attitudes toward public schools, the longest-running survey of Americans’ views on public education.

Source: Lindsey Layton, Washington Post, August 23, 2015

Categories: Standardized Testing