Review of a Video on Standardized Testing

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The video I chose was Assessment in Math and Science: What’s the Point? Workshop 5: You WILL Be Tested on This!: Standardized Testing. After viewing the video I have learned the pros and cons of the standardized test. The main discussion was on the Massachusetts State Test and the implications teachers and student face in teaching and taking the test. The video was important on focusing not on teaching to the test, but pointing out ways to focus your teaching on students performances in the classroom and how to bridge the gap from rote testing to a child’s ability to move into an active assessment format. To begin, I learned that forty-two states mandate a standardized test to measure the teaching accountability in the classroom. Dr. H.D. Hoover mentioned that policy makers like the standardized test because the test is a cheap way to test and that the test results can be published for everyone to see, which leads to another problem with staff, the district, and the community wrapped up in numerical data. After all, districts sale real estate based on test scores, teachers move to other schools to teach at a higher performing school, and superintendents move to different districts based on these test scores and this directs focus on numbers rather than the quality of education taught. Standardized testing is mostly to produce inexpensive accountability data and most state test does not match the state’s standards. Let us take a look at the make-up of the standardized test to get a better understanding of the types of information the assessment measures. Most standardized tests are made up of mostly multiple choice questions with a few open ended questions and short answer questions. The multiple choice question includes assessment on content, vocabulary, wording, distracters, visuals, and graphs. In the discussion of the multiple choice questions the teachers brought up a lot of problems with the multiple choice questions through the wording of the questions, to the information presented on the keys of graphs/charts, and evaluating the context of the question. In formulating the multiple choice question a test questions on subjects are given and the thinking ability of students are measured to formulate a distraction as answers. Distractions in answer format are popular choices made by misconceptions. Now, distractions allow multiple choice questions to be challenging rather than forcing the students to choose their answer based on the concept that all the other answers were not even relevant.
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