Take Five for Testing

Take Five for Testing

There’s been a lot happening in the world of assessment. In case you missed any of it, here’s a quick recap of five stories:

  1. States have started lining up for 2021 testing waivers

We all suspected it was bound to happen, but who knew it would happen so soon? Georgia was the first to signal its intention, but Michigan was the first to officially submit a request to the feds.

  1. Event series: How to best measure learning loss during COVID-19

Last month, we wrapped up a three-part series exploring the ins and outs of measurement, the question of fall diagnostics, and the uncertainty surrounding testing in 2021. The recordings for each of the webinars are now available:

  1. Strong support for spring testing

In response to the premature move to suspend testing next year, The Collaborative for Student Success released a memo to underscore the strong and continued public support for capturing and reporting assessment data. Indeed, one recent survey showed that nearly 80 percent of parents believe states should resume summative testing in reading and math in 2021.

  1. Biden-Sanders Task Force calls for eliminating standardized tests

The recommendations recently put forth by this joint project called for, among other things, eliminating high-stakes tests. They’re intended to inform the Democratic Party platform before the convention in August, although they’re non-binding. Specifically, the recommendations call for eliminating “high-stakes standardized tests that unfairly label students” and funding for “efforts to study and develop alternatives to current annual assessment systems that still provide information about how well schools are serving groups of students.” Still, if Biden wins in November, these recommendations don’t bode well for the future of testing.

  1. Teacher bias, students with disabilities, and testing as a reality check

An oft-overlooked point in the raging assessment debate is how important state assessments can be for special education students. I’ll have more on this in a future post, but mathematician and economist Eric Weinstein unpacked the important role assessments play in guarding against the discrimination of dyslexic students and other marginalized populations in a Twitter thread worth reading in its entirety.

Speaking of social media, I make every effort to tag important assessment-related content on Twitter with the hashtag “#AssessmentHQ.” From the potential suspension of NAEP to California’s foray into diagnostic tests, you’ll find content that I may not always cover here on the blog. Stay tuned!

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