Context from Professional Experience

Whilst at my practicum school I noticed the nature of national standardized testing and lamented over the disruption to normal class programs that this initiated. My space unit with year 8 was disrupted for a week as we prepared the students for ESSA. The management at the school rated the results of ESSA very highly when evaluating the effectiveness of the staff at the school so the entire staff felt pressured into devoting valuable lesson time to prepare for this test. Stiggins (1988) agrees with this when he noted that “nationalized standardized tests, statewide assessments, and of measurement driven instruction, we are failing to address the central issue in school assessment: insuring the quality and appropriate use of teacher-directed assessment of student achievement used every day in the classroom” (p.363).

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