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More Tests! Can States & Testing Industry Handle "Multiple Measures"?

Gerald Bracey points out in this Huffington Post post (Nothing Will Happen with NCLB) that adding more tests (ie, multiple measures) is no guaranteed solution because it could well overwhelm the testing infrastructure. It's an interesting argument, in part because I hadn't heard it before and mostly because it puts Bracey in the position of arguing against multiple measures.


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I always read you blog, although I supect you've never been a teacher.

But I can't make ay sense out of your recent comments. you haven't heard that the testing industry is at its breking point?

All summer I've been using your hperlinks to actally read AND STUDY the actal reesearch. Have ypu? They confirm Bracey's arguent that poor chidren of color in schools with high concentrations of geenerational povrty re te most dameaged by NCLB. That's surely my experience.

Why are you so defnsive pf a law that is so dysfunctional?

Its not just politics to oppose a law that is ruining urban schools. Spend some time teaching in my school and you'll understand why I consider it my duty.

sorry to be so blunt,


I just read my post. Then I tried to write a witty retraction. So I'll just give up for now and hope people can read through my typos.

i'm glad you like the blog, john, and i'm sorry we seem to disagree. perhaps it's because of my admittedly minimal teaching experience. but i think it more has to do with the fact that i don't think anyone would fund public education without test-based accountability. it's sad but true -- lawmakers need to feel like things are being measured, and getting better, before they get behind funding schools. at least, that's my sense of things.

thanks for reading, and keep writing in anytime you want.

I think, Alexander, that you have put it succinctly--there0 is not likely to be funding without measureable accountability. I have worked many years in social services--where this particular revolution has already happened. Yes, it was tough--I have been around long enough to see the change from presenting wonderful anecdotes ("we're doing God's work") to counting participants (are really bad idea that contributed to some serious quality issues) and hours, to an emphasis on outcomes. Of the three, I prefer the outcomes. While it is easier to present funders with a case that is based on a great "story," the reality is that this is very easy to manipulate. When the dollars are competitive, it is hard to watch them go to an org that you know isn't doing quality work because they have a good story.

Teachers haven't generally had to deal with funding at that level--and now they are understandably annoyed. And people do silly things when they are angry. NCLB doesn't mandate half of the things that people seem to think that it does. Quality teaching that responds to the needs of the students yields good test results--we have relied on this for years (SAT, ACT, AP, etc, etc, etc). Drilling test answers or teaching test-taking strategies makes for only minimal impact, particularly if there is no grounding in content. But NCLB does not require this--this has been the response of districts and teachers.

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