After stressing for most of the year, students, teachers and parents can finally relax.
There is almost a full year before the dreaded Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, or CRCTs, come around again. For much of the school year, teachers worry that they haven’t taught enough, students worry that they haven’t learned enough — and parents wonder what they can give their children to eat to maximize their concentration on CRCT test days.
But after all is said and done, is it really worth it? Robert Schaefer, public education director for FairTest National Center for Fair and Open Testing, doesn’t think so.
In a recent op-ed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution titled “When put to a test, testing culture flunks,” Schaefer said the current testing culture encourages cheating. He said it wasn't just the Atlanta Public School System that resorted to cheating to meet the testing standards. Schaefer said FairTest has documented similar test score manipulations in 33 states, plus the District of Columbia.
Schaefer is one of a growing number of educators who say the current system just does not work. On top of the incentive to cheat, Schaefer said a study released last year by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science concluded that high-states testing has not improved the quality of education.
So what do you think? Is it time to give CRCTs an F and find another way to test the competency of teachers and their students?