OEA members are leading the way to put the focus back on learning instead of testing.
We can’t be dependent on standardized tests as a sole means of measuring student progress. Standardized tests are only one piece of the assessment tools utilized in the classroom. Currently, students are the victims of a system that puts too much emphasis on and time and money into high-stakes, standardized testing. In fact, the toxic testing culture is taking the love of teaching and learning out of our classrooms. Learn more about the National Education Association’s effort to end toxic testing.
Parents, teachers and students have had enough of the overuse and abuse of standardized testing. In a 2013 PDK/Gallup poll, 77 percent said increased testing has either hurt or made no difference in improving schools. Oregon educators have a better way.
Teachers are experts at assessing what students know. Every day teachers develop, design and implement assessment tools that not only measure what students know but provide guidance to the student and teacher on how best to support student success.
There is indeed a difference between tests and assessment. A standardized test should be one small piece in a robust system of assessments. While a test is an end point and a snapshot in time, a more robust assessment process allows the teacher to gather information about student learning in order to inform instructional decisions and help all students succeed. A system of assessments is much broader in scope with the purpose of helping teachers understand the gaps in learning, monitor student progress, adjust instruction to create learning environments where students come to believe in themselves as successful In the spirit of moving toward this goal, Oregon educators at the 2014 OEA Representative Assembly took a strong stand on behalf of students and against the overuse and abuse of new high-stakes, standardized tests.
The OEA believes the priority actions summarized below will put Oregon education on the right track to support the success of each student.
• Support a moratorium of the Smarter Balanced Assessment
• Support school districts in piloting educator-designed assessments to inform a more balanced system of assessments
• Support and empower educators and students in transitioning to the Common Core
• Provide for a review of the Common Core Standards over 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.
Full Text of the OEA Priorities found here.
Additionally, OEA members are also working with the Governor, Oregon’s Chief Education Officer and the Oregon Department of Education to develop a system of assessments that doesn’t force teachers to teach to the test and actually improves student learning.
Creating Systems of Assessment for Deeper Learning – By David T. Conley & Linda Darling-Hammond
Revolutionize Assessment: Empower Students, Inspire Learning. – By Dr. Rick Stiggins
Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing It Right – Using It Well (2nd Edition).– By Jan Chappuis and Rick Stiggins