Four Reasons Innovative Educators Should Boycott Standardized Tests

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Four Reasons to Boycott Standardized Tests:

  1. Inaccurate conclusions of the effectiveness of innovative educators.
    In New York City they want to release teacher performance results which are based in large part on the outdated standardized tests their students are required to take. Passionate, innovative educators who are using 21st century technologies with their students will be penalized because they’re students have developed a modern writing process which can not be evaluated using outdated assessments.
  2. A double-edged sword when assessing success of technology grants
    As a grant manager I am required to show students progress on outdated standardized tests. I want the grant funding, so I am required to say they will show improvement, but I know the facts. Outdated assessments can’t measure the 21st century skills my students are developing and the reality is that using 21st century skills will actually result in a decrease in test scores even though my students are better writers and writing for an authentic audience.
  3. Outdated assessments are driving outdated instruction
    I was the PD manager for a 1:1 deployment of 24 schools. In some of the schools I went to students were not allowed to use laptops for writing or math because the students were taking a traditional tests and the schools did not want to risk getting shut down as a result of students using modern tools. They knew instinctively that when a student becomes accustomed to working with technology their thinking and creative processes change. This is shameful that today’s outdated assessments are holding our students in the past, and forcing innovative educators to carry out this edict.
  4. Unnecessary duplication of efforts.
    During my visits to tech-rich schools I often see students working with both paper/pencil and technology. Thousands of trees are killed and hours are wasted because educators want to ensure that students will be able to do well on the outdated tests. This requires students to do work on the computer, but also with paper/pencil so they can perform well on the tests that are stuck in the past.


The Innovative Educator: When students own the learning

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The Innovative Educator: When students own the learning

      • Looking around my lab, here is what I saw being created:

        • Bitstrip comics starring themselves as scientists explaining the diversity of crustaceans.
        • Students researching sources using advanced search features for trust-worthy and relevant information
        • Online jeopardy game creations
        • Using Scratch to create interactive stories
        • PowerPoint and Prezi presentations
        • Using Flipcams and Moviemaker to create infomercials
        • Podcast radio interviews
        • Glogster Posters
    • EdTechIdeas: As teachers, it is often difficult to make a shift from forced learning (teacher delivered content) to student directed learning. I challenge you to just take one lesson; one activity; one afternoon and flip the way you’ve always done it in the past. Take a leap of faith, and relinquish control. See how you feel. Discover how your students feel. Feel the learning.
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