standardized testing

Education
7:03 am
Sun August 17, 2014

Why The Atlanta Testing Scandal Matters

One study found that teachers under high-stakes testing spent more time teaching "bubble kids" who were close to passing, at the expense of students elsewhere on the bell curve.
LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 2:04 pm

Once, in a sauna at a Korean spa in Queens, I overheard what sounded like two teachers discussing the cheating practices of a third. "You know how she does it," one said. "She'll lean over a student about to put a wrong answer and whisper, 'Check your work.' "

"Yes, and her finger will just happen to be on the right answer," said the other one.

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Education
5:23 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Behind The Test: Louisiana Grapples With How To 'Test' Its Youngest Learners

The babies at New Orleans' Kids of Excellence child care center sit down for meal time.

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 9:55 am

As the stakes grow higher for standardized tests, so too does the desire to test more students — including younger and younger ones. WWNO wraps up its series "Behind the Test."

The three-year-olds at Kids of Excellence child care center learn largely through play. Kristi Givens, the center’s director, tries to make sure they are ready for big school by the time they leave.

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Education
9:44 am
Sat May 17, 2014

What Parents Need To Know About Big Data And Student Privacy

Empty classroom with no students
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 1:53 pm

My first brush with professional journalism — and with violations of student privacy — came when I was a sophomore at Yale. It was 1999, and George W. Bush, a Yale alumnus, was running for president.

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Education
9:17 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Behind The Test: The Rules And Regulations Leading To Reliable LEAP Data

Flickr user midnightpeace_90

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 11:05 pm

WWNO continues its series “Behind the Test” with a look at test security. The paper booklets, and students’ answers inside, can determine things like teacher pay or the very existence of a school. It takes a lot of effort — and people — to keep the testing materials secure through delivery, administering the test, turning them in and then scoring.

The booklets and answer sheets for Louisiana’s LEAP tests come from a company called Data Recognition Corporation in Minnesota. When the Recovery School District's tests arrive they go straight to a warehouse.

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Education
3:53 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Behind The Test: Schools Turn To Social Workers, Relaxation Techniques To Deal With LEAP Test Strain

Kevin and Byroneshia doing a guided imagery activity. LEAP tests put entire schools under enormous stress.

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:25 am

WWNO continues its series "Behind the Test" with a look at standardized testing through the lens of test anxiety. In the weeks leading up to the LEAP test, teachers do a lot to prepare students: drilling them on crucial skills, giving out practice tests, even holding pep rallies to boost confidence. But what about preparing students to cope with test-related anxiety?

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Education
3:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

U.S. Tests Teens A Lot, But Worldwide, Exam Stakes Are Higher

Students in Manchester, England, celebrate the results of their college entrance exams.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 6:06 pm

High school students in the U.S. take lots of standardized tests. There are state tests, new Common Core-aligned field tests, and an alphabet soup of others like the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) and NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) exams, the SAT, ACT, AP and IB.

It's a lot by any objective measure. Parents and teens often charge that America tests its students more than any other nation in the world. But really, how does the U.S.'s test tally compare with what kids are taking elsewhere in the world?

England

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Education
2:34 am
Wed April 9, 2014

An Education Reporter Puts Himself To The (Standardized) Test

New standardized tests put more emphasis on using evidence to support arguments.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 12:14 pm

What are the two most feared — most reviled — words in the English language?

"Tax day," maybe? Or "traffic jam"?

"Pink slip" still connotes an awful brand of helplessness, even though, I assume, most Americans who get pink-slipped these days never see a pink slip.

No, my vote is for "standardized test."

That's right. You felt it, didn't you? Shivers up the spine. The stab of a No. 2 pencil. And oh! Those monstrous, monotonous bubbles. They may as well be a legion of eyes staring back at your inadequacy.

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Education
2:29 am
Tue February 18, 2014

College Applicants Sweat The SATs. Perhaps They Shouldn't

Standardized tests are an important consideration for admissions at many colleges and universities. But one new study shows that high school performance, not standardized test scores, is a better predictor of how students do in college.
Amriphoto iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 4:26 pm

With spring fast approaching, many American high school seniors are now waiting anxiously to hear whether they got into the college or university of their choice. For many students, their scores on the SAT or the ACT will play a big role in where they get in.

That's because those standardized tests remain a central part in determining which students get accepted at many schools. But a first-of-its-kind study obtained by NPR raises questions about whether those tests are becoming obsolete.

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Education
3:30 am
Thu December 26, 2013

School Testing Systems Should Be Examined In 2014

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 6:49 am

Our series on the future continues with a discussion about education. Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep talks to Linda Darling-Hammond, a former adviser to President Obama, who is dismayed to see his administration build on the high-stakes testing requirements introduced by the Bush administration.