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Unformatted text preview: Fighting Back: Assessing the Assessments Author(s): George Hillocks Jr. Source: The English Journal, Vol. 92, No. 4, Teaching for Exceptionality (Mar., 2003), pp. 63- 70 Published by: National Council of Teachers of English Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3650459 . Accessed: 07/09/2011 23:06 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] National Council of Teachers of English is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The English Journal. http://www.jstor.org Fighting Back: A sse ssin g the A s s e s s m e n t s GEORGE HILLOCKS JR. I any teachers and administrators have complained vociferously about the growing mania for testing. Recently I heard a speaker complain for over twenty minutes that there is far too much testing, that testing begins too early in children's educational careers, that teachers should not be held responsible for students' learning because the tests do not account for what students know when they enter teachers' classes, that too much valuable school time is spent on testing, that the results of tests serve only to categorize children rather than educate them, and on and on. U Surely all of these complaints are valid. But will simple complaints be adequate to make any change in the testing system? I doubt it. With the new federal education act, testing has become the official driving force to reform education. By and large, Congress and the public have bought George W's lines, which he used as a mantra throughout his campaign for the presidency. For example, at the NAACP meeting on July 10, 2000, he announced that "a great movement of education [sic] reform has begun in this country," one that is built on "clear principles." His principles, however, sound more like dictates: "Raise the bar of standards. Give schools the flexibility to meet them. Measure progress. In- sist on results. Blow the whistle on failure. Provide parents with options to increase their influence. And don't leave any child behind." This simple-minded view of education, with testing at its center, has been enacted into law. States that do not comply with the demand for testing will fail to receive federal money. Testing is here to stay for a long time, and my guess is that it is likely to increase....
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This note was uploaded on 09/11/2011 for the course ECON 3006 taught by Professor Keeler during the Spring '11 term at California State University , Monterey Bay.
- Spring '11