This is an archive of a past election.|
See http://www.smartvoter.org/ca/state/ for current information.
|San Mateo, Santa Clara County, CA||June 5, 2012 Election|
Education Reform: Testing Fewer Student, but More Subject Areas
By Christopher Kent ChiangCandidate for State Senator; District 13
This information is provided by the candidate
If we take a page from Finland, we can tests statistical random samplings of students at each school. This would free up resources to do what Singapore does, which is test more subjects in a more rigorous manner. This gives us more data at the same time allows schools to use our current testing week for class instruction or teacher training.We can learn much by looking at what the world's top performing school systems do regarding testing. In Finland, all students sit for just one standardized test their entire school career, taken their senior year. The government relies on testing a random sample of students each year to measure school performance. In Singapore, they test more often, but their tests heavily use analytical written responses, oral examinations, and one even includes a group collaboration task. We are hurting both our kids and economy by narrowing the focus to reading and math.
No top performing nation relies on cheap multiple choice tests to measure their schools.
Why not? Schools do what's measured. So if we measure a bank of simple questions, schools will begin teaching these simple tasks. Few would disagree that a post-Google future is one of less recitation, and more one of analysis and collaboration. Yet, we get what we measure.
There is something socially unjust that public schools in America increasingly prepare students to be good test takers while private schools increasingly teach skills imperative in the 21st century: critical thinking, entrepreneurship, and collaboration.
In Finland they reject standardized testing because they want the teacher to emphasize what they are passionate about and what students find interesting within a brief national curricular framework. It is little surprise that American schools and classrooms that embrace a similar philosophy have students who enjoy learning. The age when that stops happening typically marks the start of student disengagement.
Currently, we test 6 million students each year in California for a week. We test using simple multiple choice questions in a narrow range of subjects that neglects arts and sciences because we logistically can't afford to do much more.
If we take a page from Finland, we can tests statistical random samplings of students at each school. This would free up resources to do what Singapore does, which is test more subjects in a more rigorous manner. This gives us more data at the same time allows schools to use our current testing week for class instruction or teacher training. We can test all students at critical junctions like 5th, 8th, and 11th grade. By doing random samples in the rest of the grade levels, the state can test more subjects and test with more in-depth measurements like performance tasks. Which means parents and voters can get reports on not just reading and math, but also how their schools perform on arts and civics.
We can even venture into measuring children's abilities to think divergently or their social emotional development. If it was reported that a school got an "F" in social emotional development, you could be certain that school would take action. Our current system of data collection and reporting does not adequately prepare voters to evaluate their local schools and school boards.
Position Paper 3
|| Feedback to Candidate
|| This Contest
June 2012 Home (Ballot Lookup) || About Smart Voter
ca/state Created from information supplied by the candidate: April 15, 2012 12:53
Smart Voter <http://www.smartvoter.org/>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund.
The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office or political parties.
|| Feedback to Candidate
|| This Contest