Did that trigger scary memories of the 10th grade? Or are you just curious how you'll measure up?
If the answer is "C: Either of the above," keep reading. Tests have existed throughout the history of education. Today they're being used more than ever before — but not necessarily as designed.
Different types of tests are best for different purposes. Some help students learn better. Some are there to sort individuals. Others help us understand how a whole population is doing.
But these types of tests are easily confused, and more easily misused. As the U.S. engages in another debate over how — and how much — we test kids, it might be helpful to do a little anatomy of assessment, or a taxonomy of tests.
Her initial article for NPR has taken on a life of its own, and now Kamenetz is offer a much more comprehensive look at the testing issue in her soon-to-be released The Test: Why Our Schools are Obsessed with Standardized Testing, But You Don't Have to Be. While I have not read this work, I am looking forward to Kamenetz's observations and analyses, for I have appreciated all that I've read by her before. Let's hope she keeps the keenly critical eye on the issue of how obtrusive, and ultimately inconclusive, all this testing has become.