The Myths of Standardized Tests: Why They Don't Tell You What You Think They Do

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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Jan 16, 2011 - Education - 206 pages
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Pundits, politicians, and business leaders continually make claims for what standardized tests can do, and those claims go largely unchallenged because they are in line with popular assumptions about what these tests can do, what the scores mean, and the psychology of human motivation. But what most of what these opinion leaders say-and the public believes-about standardized testing just isn't so. However, few members of the general public, not even concerned parents, have the time or the background to keep up with the latest findings of testing experts, psychometricians, and researchers. That's where The Myths of Standardized Tests comes in. In simple, accessible language, Harris, Smith, and Harris spell out the assumptions underlying standardized tests and point out what's true about them and what's just plain mythical. But they not only debunk common assumptions; they propose better ways to judge the success of our schools. They also offer readers suggestions for ways they can help reduce the burden of tests on their children. Appendixes offer readers contact information and suggestions for actions they can take to become part of the solution to the problem of overusing and misusing standardized tests.
 

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Contents

This Is Not a Test
1
Chapter 1
13
Chapter 2
23
Chapter 3
33
Phils Story
47
Chapter 4
51
Bruces Story
65
Chapter 5
71
Chapter 8
111
Chapter 9
119
Chapter 10
133
Chapter 11
149
A Resource Guide
169
Notes
173
An Abbreviated Glossary
187
Index
193

Joans Story
83
Chapter 6
87
Chapter 7
99
About the Authors
197
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Phillip Harris is Executive Director of the Association for Educational Communications & Technology. He is the former Director of the Center for Professional Development at Phi Delta Kappa International and was a member of the faculty of Indiana University for 22 years, serving in both the Psychology Department and the School of Education.
For 27 years, Bruce M. Smith was a member of the editorial staff of the Phi Delta Kappan, the flagship publication of Phi Delta Kappa International, the association for professional educators. He retired as editor-in-chief in 2008. He holds degrees from M.I.T., the University of New Hampshire, and Indiana University.
Joan Harris has taught first, second, and third grades for more than 25 years. In 1997, she was recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children as the outstanding teacher of the year.

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