Among the many things that the new secretary of education really needs to do upon taking office, a big simple one is this--cancel the Big Standardized Test for 2021. I've been banging the "Get Rid of the BS Test" drum for years, but all the reasons it's a lousy, toxic, destructive-and-not-even-useful force in education are amplified a hundred-fold by our current pandemess.
Many wise folks have pointed this out, like Andrea Gabor at Bloomberg and the indispensable Mercedes Schneider at her own blog. Also, this piece by Lorrie Shepard at EdWeek. And I've been pointing it out, too, both here at the Institute and over at Forbes. So rather than whipping up a new skin for old wine, I'm going to offer this selection of my pieces from the past that all work to make the argument. Read, peruse, and most of all, share so that the tiny who-like chorus can pierce the beltway. Because waiving 2021's test would take the New Secretary five minutes and be hugely beneficial to students and schools in the US.
A couple of years ago, some members of the education disruptors club, especially Jay Greene, started to admit that the BS Test wasn't actually connected to real world results.
At Forbes, my most recent rebuttals to the standard "we have to give these tests" arguments.
The hearings about the newer, betterer education law included discussion of testing, but not terribly productive and often falling into the same old traps:Predictive power is not causation. Let's take a stroll through a business district and meet some random folks. I'll bet you that the quality of their shoes is predictive of the quality of their cars and their homes. Expensive shoes predict a Lexus parked in front of a five story grand gothic mansion.
It does not follow, however, that if I buy really nice shoes for all the homeless people in that part of town, they will suddenly have expensive homes and fancy cars.