The correct use of standardized tests

The debate over standardized tests never ends because it can be used to serve all agendas. The latest argument in favor of their use is based on the assumption that the tests are the only objective way of knowing what students have learned (“The US Test Mess,” The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, Apr. 22).

Although there is truth in that position, I believe that such tests are best employed as providing feedback to teachers.  Finland, for example, which is known for the quality of its schools does not engage in naming and shaming.  Therefore, the results of the tests are confidential.  But many here in this country want to use the tests as punishment.  That’s counterproductive.

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