1. David Berliner on "Why Rising Test Scores May Not Equal Increased Student Learning"

      November 18,2008

      Dissent featured commentary from David Berliner, Harvard Education Press author of Collateral Damage, on “Why Rising Test Scores May Not Equal Increased Student Learning.” In this article, Berliner lists a number of reasons why student learning may not be improving even though some schools are seeing better test scores. For example, he states, “Under NCLB many schools and districts have chosen to markedly increase test preparation activities to ensure that student scores go up. But the test was built to assess learning under normal conditions, not conditions in which students are drilled daily in tasks that are known to be on their state assessment. Normal conditions do not mean daily or weekly testing with exams that are suspiciously like those used by the state to assess NCLB standards.”

      “There is evidence from all over the country suggesting that it is not uncommon for 20-60 school days per year to be spent in test-preparation activities. Children can certainly be trained to answer questions a certain way if they are drilled enough on items like those that will appear on their test. And so their scores on the tests for which they were drilled will increase. But that is not education. It is training. Scores will go up, but it is less clear that any authentic learning has occurred.”

      Read full text of “Why Rising Test Scores May Not Equal Increased Student Learning.”
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