Test Better, Teach Better: The Instructional Role of Assessment

Test Better, Teach Better: The Instructional Role of Assessment

Test Better, Teach Better: The Instructional Role of Assessment

Test Better, Teach Better: The Instructional Role of Assessment

Synopsis

If you're frustrated by standardized tests that don't give you the information you need to help students achieve in the classroom, then here's a book that explains how to create and use tests to guide everyday teaching practices. A renowned expert on assessment provides you with a "crash course" on the basic principles of testing: How tests can tell you what to teach and how to teach it. What to put on a test and why, including the rules for choosing and writing good test items. The measurement concepts every educator must know in order to design tests that meet tough accountability standards. How to avoid "teaching to the test" and five common mistakes in test writing. Sample test items, tips, and steps guide you in collecting the right testing data, interpreting it, and making sound judgments about whether your instructional practices are achieving the results you want.

Excerpt

If you could magically and surreptitiously slip into the back of any American classroom these days, odds are you'd find the students taking a test. At least that's the way it must seem to most of our nation's teachers. More and more frequently, teachers find themselves obliged to give their students state-mandated or district-mandated tests that they work in amongst their own classroom testing practices. [Recess] used to mean a time when students were let out to play. Now, at least to many teachers, it's a blessed week in which teachers are not required to administer some sort of externally imposed test.

Accountability Pressures and a New Federal Law

The chief reason for what seems to be an explosion of educational testing is that U.S. educational policymakers, bent on making the nation's educators more accountable, want hard evidence regarding how well public schools are performing. These policymakers, and most of our citizens as well, believe that student test performance should be the ultimate yardstick by which we measure a school's effectiveness. Naturally, then, teachers are under pressure to raise their students' test scores. You know the logic: High test scores signify good schooling and low test scores signify bad schooling.

The already thriving national obsession with educational testing intensified in early 2002, when President George W. Bush signed the . . .

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