Ask the Experts!

Computer problems disrupt standardized testing at schools in several states.”  This was the headline in an article in the Washington Post on April 20, 2018 by Valerie Strauss.  Full disclosures on two key issues:

  1. The on-line edition was shorter than the print edition where I found some interesting facts.
  2. I’m not an educator, so my opinions about standardized tests are not anchored on any facts and may be biased! 

Standardized tests are apparently administered via computers these days. (What happened to No. 2 pencils?) Among the problems that occurred, students in some schools could not log in, while others had no choices for multiple-choice questions. Glitches, hacks and other electronic and cyber nuisances take a toll on the process fueling concerns about them – the value of the results and the importance placed on them, especially as a way to evaluate teachers. Educators, I invite you to comment on this. 

Kudos and respect to the teachers.  I hold you in high regard.  However, the experts I’m referring to in the title, are the students. Given the opportunity by one fifth-grade teacher, her students wrote about how their opinions of the tests. Many expressed distaste, One complained (and rightfully so, in my humble opinion) about computers scoring tests including scoring the essays! (Seriously?)

That student wrote: “The legislators have never had to take the … test. I would love to see them sit down for 90 minutes at a time (at) this nuisance they call a test and I bet they would struggle during so many days of testing.”

Management lesson: Ask the people who actually do the work!  Don’t try to implement new processes and systems without consulting with the people involved. This week a fifth-grader is reinforcing that lesson!

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