Improving the Utility of Large-Scale Assessments in Canada

W. Todd Rogers, Canadian Journal of Education, Nov 12, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Interesting paper about the potential for large-scale assessment (a.k.a. standardized testing) in Canada. Three major problems are presented: the reliability of the test results, the need to get results early enough to make useful changes, and the provision of resources to support those changes. The point of the paper is to describe what's needed to make the assessments work, but I think it's a lot more convincing as an argument to the effect that they don't work. "Principals and teachers must be provided with reliable profiles that can be validly interpreted, and they must have adequate time and assistance to make needed changes to enhance learning and achievement of all of their students."

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