This Is One Reason Why Standardized Tests Aren’t Effective

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If you really believe that standardized testing can help teachers better teach to their students’ weaknesses then they probably need results back sooner than a year.

From the Chicago Tribune/Naperville Sun:

Schools will have to wait until at least summer 2017 to get the results of the state science tests students took in 2016.

As high school biology students in Indian Prairie District 204 begin taking the Illinois Science Assessment this week, Superintendent Karen Sullivan said schools will push ahead despite the district having no idea how students performed when they took the assessment last spring.

“That makes it really useful to be able to know how to adapt to your instruction and your curriculum when you know what the results were,” said Sullivan at a recent board meeting.

Illinois State Board of Education officials said districts should see assessment results this summer.

This summer? Gee, thanks….

I realize that this is an extreme example, but every standardized assessment has lag time, and ultimately is not helpful in fine tuning individual instruction. Sure lessons could possibly be learned in the aggregate, but just because one class had a particular weakness it doesn’t mean the next class will be the same.

Anyway if this is a reason to push standardized testing those who advocate for it should be honest about its limitations. Parents would do well to opt their students out of these assessments that are ineffective and that waste time that is better spent teaching.