Thursday, July 16, 2009

Excess Capacity, Should We Choose to Tap It

Me:

Quite frankly, I don't believe that we have the will or capacity to get this right on a large scale. I'm just not convinced, and nobody is trying to convince me, outside of Duncan throwing $350,000,000 at the problem, but I don't believe we have excess test creation capacity sitting on the sidelines holding out for more money. I think we're already doing the best we can, it is inadequate. We're just going to end up paying more money for the same crap.

OK, that's not quite right. There is a lot of untapped capacity. For example researchers like David Hestenes, Robert Scholes, Mark Guzdial or Daniel Koretz, not to mention teachers like jd2718. The problem is we've been moving away from including serious, cautious researchers and teachers in the process of drafting tests and standards, and we show no sign of changing course. The conventional wisdom is that NCTE, NCTM, National Council for History Standards, NSF, etc. blew their chance in the 20th century and now it is up to ETS, ACT, Achieve, etc. to do this stuff for us. I would be shocked to see a change in direction anytime soon.

1 comment:

jd2718 said...

That's better. Well, not better, but it comes closer to matching conditions out there.

Mostly in settings where we work with high-achieving kids, teachers still do create some "fine-grained assessments" - even one big company does a little of it (some of the AP),

but no, a huge majority of test creation, by teachers, and certainly by test writing and marketing companies, the lion's share goes towards those other tests... And that's what we're up against for the foreseeable future.

Jonathan