Monthly Article Archives: June 2017

Testing for What? Part IIRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

Before beginning Part II of my article about standardized testing in our schools, I want to state as I do every June that this is my last website column until September.  As I have expressed each June, I continue to be very appreciative of the feedback, questions, and insights received from my readers.  My main goal in writing these articles continues to be to convey information and ideas that might serve as a catalyst for self-reflection and self-change. *          *          * In my May article, I discussed a thoughtful paper authored by Susan Engel, a developmental psychologist on the faculty at Williams College.  It was titled “7 Things Every Kid Should Master” and originally published in The Boston Globe Magazine in February, 2015.  Engel explored the debates taking place about the use of standardized tests in our schools—for instance, should these tests determine whether students are promoted or kept back, whether teachers and administrators are retained or let go, or even whether to bring in outside agencies to manage schools.  Engel proposed, “But almost no one has publicly questioned a fundamental assumption—that the tests measure something meaningful or predict something significant beyond themselves.”  She continued: I have reviewed more than

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