Mute the Messenger

Jason Stanford, CT Watch Quarterly, Sept 06, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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Walter Stroup offered evidence to show that standardized tests measure test-taking ability more than they measure knowledge, and that the teacher has only a small impact on the final assessment. "According to Stroup’s initial calculations, that constancy accounted for about 72 percent of everyone’s test score." A later recalculation suggests it's more like 50%. But still, that's pretty significant. "Regardless of a teacher’s experience or training, class size, or any other classroom-based factor Stroup could identify, student test scores changed within a relatively narrow window of about 10 to 15 percent."

The publishers and testing industry, of course, struck back - not in open debate, but in the shadows. "Stroup had picked a fight with a special interest in front of politicians. The winner wouldn’t be determined by reason and science but by politics and power. Pearson’s real counterattack took place largely out of public view, where the company attempted to discredit Stroup’s research." *sigh* See also. Photo: University of Texas.

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