Thursday, February 23, 2006

Testing the Testers

The barrage of testing endured by our children my go largely without criticism if FairTest is permitted to disappear. Michael Winerip writes in today's NY Times that if the independent watchdog loses its funding, testing companies won't need to worry so much about the minor errors that result in your kid being denied admission to college, or promotion to the next grade.

I have decidedly mixed feelings about testing. On the one hand, if testing is so vital, how on earth did those of us who predated the craze ever learn to read and write? On the other, how is it that so many incompetent readers and writers graduate from colleges?

Whatever you think about testing, if you've followed the professional test writing of the NY State Regents, or the incredibly inconsistent and completely unreliable testing of ESL students around the city and state, or even if you've just seen the film Stand and Deliver, you know that test writers are quite capable of human error.

It's vital to have independent organizations like FairTest around to keep their eyes on the test writers.
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