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Florida International University Standardized Testing Responses

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Drucilla Poitier: 

“Teachers play several important roles concerning standardized testing. These include preparing students for the test, administering the test, and then using scores in various ways.” (Page 312)

“Classroom-based assessment has the distinction of immediately informing teachers and students, as well as parents, of student performance on an ongoing basis. Unlike test scores with delayed reporting and derived scores whose interpretation is often complex and represents a one-time snapshot of performance, alternative assessment is more directly useful to all stakeholders.” (Page 2)

Hello Class,

The readings this week on assessment and standardized testing is a big thing. I do understand that we must use them to get a baseline and measure where our students are. But I also feel that they have become the focus of teaching. Standardized testing is something I feel should be done away with and we find some other mean or measures for students. High-stakes testing is widely believed to be the force behind educational reform and, presumably, resulting quality education. Though policy makers and the public judge the impact of educational reform efforts by comparing changes in test scores over time, testing experts question the use of high stakes testing as the public benchmark of educational quality (Linn 2000). These high-stake testing have a greater effect of low income and minority students. In fact, socioeconomic status accounts for most of the variance in test scores from one student to the next. Recently in a new report here on Florida, the governor stated that lawmakers will consider a proposal during the next legislative session to end standardized testing in Florida’s public schools. DeSantis said he wants to eliminate the exams and move to a different way of evaluating students. It’s being described as a progress monitoring approach so that assessment occurs throughout the year. The idea here is that educators have access to the data from that assessment more readily, and they can implement interventions to respond to student’s needs. I heavily agree with moving forward in doing away with the “high-stake” testing. In a multicultural society one crucial question is: Are standardized tests biased against certain social class, racial, or ethnic groups? This question is much more complicated than it seems because bias has a variety of meanings. An everyday meaning of bias often involves the fairness of using standardized test results to predict potential performance of disadvantaged students who have previously had few educational resources.

In a multicultural society one crucial question is: Are standardized tests biased against certain social class, racial, or ethnic groups? 

Vanessa Connell 

“Preinstructional decisions are needed to set learning goals , select appropriate content and instructional activities, differentiate instruction, and prepare instructional materials”  (Burden & Byrd chapter 11 pg 287)

When looking over the material given this week, the most interesting pieces of information came from this section on data driven decision making as it pertains to how prepared a teacher might or might not be in their lessons and how that could affect their students. Data driven decision making is based on the fact of teachers using many sources of information to make decisions on planning, teaching, and assessing. When I’ve been taught in other education courses about lesson planning never once did I ever think to do preliminary research on topics and find ways in which the information can be properly administered to my students. I always thought the trial and error would come after the first lesson and I could fix and go from that point. 

As I continued to read more into this topic I found that how much is affected by the act of preplanning. When the proper planning is done students will always get more information and education out of each lesson 100% of the time. Figure 1.1 of this chapter really helps me understand the steps to make a proper lesson and how to be successful in each of my ideas that I’ll have for my future students. I better understand the relationships between how instruction and assessment go hand in hand with one another. 

Going from here on out I feel as though when the time comes I’ll be able plan my lessons in a more productive way. Taking into account how assessments affect the planning also helps mold the way the content will flow within the times I will be teaching my students. Domains and milestones set the tone for educational experiences for students so I hope that my proper planning will get students excited within the curriculum. 

My question for this topic is: What value do you put on assessments? Do you plan your lessons around domains that need to be addressed in your curriculum?

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