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My Student’s Test Scores Went Up!

And my reasonable reaction to this news


Some years ago I sat in on a lecture by the great education reform advocate, Alfie Kohn.¹ During the lecture, Mr. Kohn stated that there are two reasonable responses to the news that test scores have increased in one’s district. The first² he referred to as the moderate response: “So what?” According to Kohn, and the prevailing research, there is no empirical evidence that test scores are a reliable measure of “learning.” In fact, he pointed out research that revealed the opposite influence; those who scored the highest on standardized tests tended to be the shallowest thinkers and least actively involved students. He also pointed out that standardized tests have virtually no predictive value for future academic success. In real terms, there is no reason to take pride in higher test scores.

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