Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Charles Barone's Views on Testing

DFER’s Director of Federal Policy, Charles Barone, shares my views:

My email inbox started blowing up yesterday over a New York Times editorial entitled, “The Trouble with Testing Mania.” A lot of people are concerned that the editorial is anti-testing, and the headline certainly lends itself to that reaction.

A close reading, however, reveals that it’s not that simple. In a society where polarization has crippled our ability to get important things done, it helps if one resists the temptation to glean which education camp the author has chosen to favor and focuses instead on the actual content. (We’ll address the politics of “The Trouble with Testing Mania” later in the week.)
I’m very pro-testing and while I could quibble with a sentence here and sentence there, overall I think The New York Times’ editors got it right. (Which is not to say they got it perfect.) Here are three key reasons why:

1. The “trouble with testing mania” referred to in the headline centers mostly around test prep, not testing per se.

 Subscribe in a reader