Posts tagged testing

[ISRAEL] Education minister drops standardized tests

Education Minister Shai Piron announced the cancellation of national standardized tests (NST) in the upcoming school year.

The reason given for the decision was that the release of the test results to the public exerted undue pressure on students, raised concerns as to the tests’ integrity and harmed teachers’ motivation.

"The standardized tests are important and valuable evaluation tools, which we should continue to use in the future, however they cannot be carried on with in their present format," said Minister Piron. "The current form of the tests harms schools, teachers and students," he added.

China just began a major education reform effort that is aimed at reducing the importance of standardized testing in determining school quality and including factors such as student engagement, boredom, anxiety, and happiness.
It also seeks to cut back on the amount of school work students are given. As scholar Yong Zhao notes in the following post, the approach is the opposite of the education reform path in the United States, which in recent years has increased the importance of test scores for accountability purposes. (via China’s new education reform: Reducing importance of test scores)

China just began a major education reform effort that is aimed at reducing the importance of standardized testing in determining school quality and including factors such as student engagement, boredom, anxiety, and happiness.

It also seeks to cut back on the amount of school work students are given. As scholar Yong Zhao notes in the following post, the approach is the opposite of the education reform path in the United States, which in recent years has increased the importance of test scores for accountability purposes. (via China’s new education reform: Reducing importance of test scores)

Pupils perform better in tests if they are told the exercise is to help them learn rather than to rank them against their classmates, according to a new study.

Girls in particular benefit from seeing tests as an opportunity for learning rather than a competition, in subjects where they traditionally lag behind boys.


Presenting exams as part of the curriculum, rather than an exercise in comparing pupils against one another, could make them more effective and help teenagers reach their full potential, experts said.


Researchers from Clermont Université in France studied the best method of setting tests in science lessons – a subject where girls are often reported to score lower marks than boys.
(via Tests ‘should not rank pupils against one another’ - Telegraph)

Pupils perform better in tests if they are told the exercise is to help them learn rather than to rank them against their classmates, according to a new study.

Girls in particular benefit from seeing tests as an opportunity for learning rather than a competition, in subjects where they traditionally lag behind boys.

Presenting exams as part of the curriculum, rather than an exercise in comparing pupils against one another, could make them more effective and help teenagers reach their full potential, experts said.

Researchers from Clermont Université in France studied the best method of setting tests in science lessons – a subject where girls are often reported to score lower marks than boys.

(via Tests ‘should not rank pupils against one another’ - Telegraph)

The Danish minister of education is quoted: “I am happy that we as the first country in the world had the vision to let students use the internet during their exams. The internet is an integrated part of students’ everyday lives and education so this development is natural. The experiment shows there is a range of positive effects.”
Shanghai is an exceptional case - and the [PISA] results there are close to what I expected. But what surprised me more [in China] were the results from poor provinces that came out really well. The levels of resilience are just incredible. In China, the idea is so deeply rooted that education is the key to mobility and success.
Andreas Schleicher,  Deputy Director for Education at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development who oversees the Programme for International Student Assessment.  (via lessonsfromabroad)

Scores of professors and researchers from 16 universities throughout the Chicago metropolitan area have signed an open letter to the city’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, and Chicago school officials warning against implementing a teacher evaluation system that is based on standardized test scores.

This is the latest protest against “value-added” teacher evaluation models that purport to measure how much “value” a teacher adds to a student’s academic progress by using a complicated formula involving a standardized test score.

Researchers have repeatedly warned against using these methods, but school reformers have been doing it in state after state anyway.

The number of standardized tests students have to take is about to increase, but the according to a national survey from Scholastic and the Gates Foundation, the nation’s teachers overwhelmingly don’t see the high-stakes exams as essential.
The survey asked more than 10,000 educators about their classrooms, schools, and how student and teacher performances should be measured. A huge majority of teachers believe in measuring student achievement, but they believe it should be measured with a variety of assessments, not just standardized tests. (via Only 7 Percent of Teachers Believe in Standardized Tests - Education - GOOD)

The number of standardized tests students have to take is about to increase, but the according to a national survey from Scholastic and the Gates Foundation, the nation’s teachers overwhelmingly don’t see the high-stakes exams as essential.

The survey asked more than 10,000 educators about their classrooms, schools, and how student and teacher performances should be measured. A huge majority of teachers believe in measuring student achievement, but they believe it should be measured with a variety of assessments, not just standardized tests. (via Only 7 Percent of Teachers Believe in Standardized Tests - Education - GOOD)

Bright students are starting university unable to structure an essay because of the “damage” caused by test-driven schooling, Cambridge academics warned on Monday. (via Bright students ‘cannot write essays’, say Cambridge dons - Telegraph)

Bright students are starting university unable to structure an essay because of the “damage” caused by test-driven schooling, Cambridge academics warned on Monday. (via Bright students ‘cannot write essays’, say Cambridge dons - Telegraph)

[CHINA] Chinese students’ obsession with learning English is apparent. Chinese cities are littered with billboards and fliers for teaching institutes, and the demand for native-speaking teachers and tutors seems endless. For many, the TOEFL, or Test of English as a Foreign Language, ranks second only to the infamous gaokao college entrance exam as a driver of candle-burning study habits.
Worried that this preoccupation with English is contributing to a decline in native language skills, officials at the Ministry of Education are now trying to get students to return to their linguistic roots. How? By introducing another test. (via In Battle to Save Chinese, It’s Test vs. Test - China Real Time Report - WSJ)

[CHINA] Chinese students’ obsession with learning English is apparent. Chinese cities are littered with billboards and fliers for teaching institutes, and the demand for native-speaking teachers and tutors seems endless. For many, the TOEFL, or Test of English as a Foreign Language, ranks second only to the infamous gaokao college entrance exam as a driver of candle-burning study habits.

Worried that this preoccupation with English is contributing to a decline in native language skills, officials at the Ministry of Education are now trying to get students to return to their linguistic roots. How? By introducing another test. (via In Battle to Save Chinese, It’s Test vs. Test - China Real Time Report - WSJ)

Dar Es Salaam — Though children attending private schools have been found to perform better than those going to public schools, their performance was far from better, a survey by Uwezo East Africa has established. Surveys conducted in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda on quality of primary education showed that in Tanzania and Uganda, pupils attending private schools performed relatively poorly.