Friday, September 17, 2010

Testing, the KIPP way

I witnessed some of the best uses of tests I've seem among young children at KIPP Raices elementary school in LA when I visited last fall.  As you can see from the pictures from my visit (posted at:, every child, starting in the first week of kindergarten, is tested – but not with fill-in-the-bubble, high-stakes, stress-inducing tests, but with one-on-one assessments (in kindergarten) where the children can proudly demonstrate what they've learned – and, critically, teachers can see exactly which children have NOT learned which material.  And it's not just limited to academics – check out the behavioral report card that EVERY child takes home EVERY day, and must return the next day signed by a parent/guardian.


Without regular assessments of every student, how on earth are teachers (and the principal) supposed to know if students are learning what's being taught?!  This is so blindingly obvious, yet the educational establishment (ed schools and unions in particular) vehemently oppose this.  The reason (other than a politically correct hatred of all tests) is simple: testing, even in the form of low-stakes internal assessments, bring ACCOUNTABILITY – and THAT is very threatening if you're lousy at your job.  Good teachers and principals embrace this…

 Subscribe in a reader