Since standardized tests are not going away anytime soon, it’s time to revise the way they are used (“New York’s state English exams are a horrific waste,” New York Post, Sep. 30). At present, most state tests are administered in April, but the results are not released until summer. That makes no sense.
I say that because the primary purpose of standardized tests is to provide teachers with feedback about their instruction. The sooner they get the results the sooner they can revise their lessons. For students, the delay is even more troublesome because it’s too late to enroll in summer school. In New York City, this year’s summer school enrollment was down by more than half since 2013.
Further, unless standardized tests are directly aligned with the curriculum, scores are relatively meaningless. They essentially are measuring what students bring to class in terms of their socioeconomic backgrounds rather than what they learn in class through effective instruction. That’s an important distinction given short shrift in the debate.
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