Friday, September 5, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 249

#Assessments aren't inherently bad. However, how we use them, can be. #QuoteADay #Day249 #edchat #edu #Data #Learn #Lead #edtherapy

Last night I had the opportunity to participate in a short portion of a new education chat, #edtherapy.  The topic was assessments and how we are dealing with them (and how we should be), and it got me thinking about the bad rap that assessment measures have gotten recently.

Many seem primed to attack tests, without having a deep understanding of what they could do for us, if they were used properly.  Blaming the tests (or along the same lines, standards) takes the responsibility off those who use them, us.

The tests are never inherently evil, and by themselves, they aren’t “bad.”  However, in many states, how we are using them, and how they are impacting our learners, is a problem.  We need to make sure that if we are rallying against the tests, we’re actually rallying against how they are being used.  Assessing learners is a necessary part of education.  But, it has to have purpose, and data needs to be easy to interpret by all.

The worst effect tests can have is to make those who take them (or who administer them) further confused by their results.  If a measure results in less clarity after it is used than before, then we need to rethink how and why we’re utilizing that tool.

Like curriculum, a test should never be blamed for poor performance, or lack of usable data.  Rather, we should accept the blame for our poor use and implementation of devices that are, simply, just tools.

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