From my friends at Change the Stakes.
4. State exams are loaded with poorly written, ambiguous questions. A recent statement signed by 545 New York State Principals noted that many teachers and principals could not agree on the correct answers.
8. High-stakes tests don’t help students learn or teachers teach. The results come too late for that. The tests are largely punitive: they punish teachers, students, and schools that don’t perform. Low test scores can be used to hold good students back and rate strong teachers as “ineffective” despite high ratings by their principals.
10. High-stakes testing encourages “teaching to the middle.” Educators are pressured to focus on the “2” and “3” students, where the most progress can be made on scores, and ignore the 4s (where gains aren’t measured) and 1s (whose needs are too great to raise scores easily).
(note #11 applies to New York City only. Some large city school districts have selective HS/MS admissions)
12. One-size-fits-all tests punish and discourage students who are already vulnerable, including students of color, English-Language Learners, children with special needs, and students from families living in poverty.