Here's a fresh idea from an experienced testing professional that addresses the problem of the overuse of standardized testing. Elford argues that so-called test-based reform has given rise to the 'cram curriculum' and turned schools into test-prep centers. Overlooked are the classroom teachers, who observe the actual work of students and are the primary and richest source of information on learning. The author lays out a better approach to accountability using standards, teacher judgments, and the tools of the information age. This is not an attack on standardized testing, which supplies the only interpretable information the public has been able to attain. Rather, it recommends comprehensive, computer-based systems that link every teacher and classroom into their school district's data warehouse. This system supports and utilizes the richest source of accountability information, the presently un-tapped knowledge in the minds of teachers. At the heart of the system are 'standardized teacher judgments' related to content and performance standards and supported by standards-based scoring rubrics that are integrated into a computer-based instructional management information system. Among the advantages the system offers are: *Students are graded on quality of their work, not how they compare with other students. *The school or school district becomes the primary source of accountability information instead of the state. *Provides better information for college admissions. *Provides employers with a record to use that shows the link between school and work. The technology for such a system is ready and waiting. This book defines the urgent need for a computer-based instructional information system to which every teacher is linked and calls upon innovative school leaders to embrace the idea.
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About the Author
George W. Elford manages CAP, Inc. an assessment service based in Potomac, Maryland. He retired in 1995 after a twenty-year career at the Education Testing Service where he directed field offices in Boston, Evanston, and Washington, D.C. The ideas developed in this present work can be traced back to a number of field service projects in 'curriculum monitoring'_a forerunner of the instructional management information system.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Foreword Part 2 Preface Part 3 Introduction: The Basic Argument Chapter 4 1 What Counts in Accountability? Chapter 5 2 The Reliance on Standardized, Special Event Testing Chapter 6 3 The Rap Against Standardized testing Chapter 7 4 Standardized Means Interpretable Chapter 8 5 Which Come First, the Test or the Curriculum? Chapter 9 6 Hyping Student Performance Via the Cram Curriculum Chapter 10 7 What ever Happened to the Scholastic Aptitude Test? Chapter 11 8 Avoiding the Information Age: The Road Not Considered Chapter 12 9 National Attention to Content and Performance Standards Chapter 13 10 Teacher Know Best: Standardizing Teacher Judgment Chapter 14 11 Envisioning an Instructional Management Information System Chapter 15 12 How an Instructional Management Information System Would Work Chapter 16 13 Providing a Truly "Public" Education via the Internet Chapter 17 14 Rubrics and Grades: Getting Around the Curve Chapter 18 15 A New Credential: Certified Instructional Manager Chapter 19 16 By-Product I: New Information for College Admissions Chapter 20 17 By-Product II: Making Academics Count in the Workplace Chapter 21 18 A 21st Century Federal Initiative in Education Part 22 Epilogue Part 23 Index Part 24 About the Author