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Student test scores aren't a reliable way of evaluating teachers

We should all worry about "overwhelming students, schools with tests" (Too many tests in Md.?" Feb. 7).

As The Sun points out, the new testing will be extremely time-consuming. There is no scientific evidence, however, that increasing the amount of testing will increase student achievement.

The new tests will be given online and, as The Sun also points out, schools don't have the technology to administer them. Of course, the test publishers and computer companies will be happy to sell it to them, as well as costly new equipment as their old equipment rapidly becomes obsolete.

The tests will be used to help evaluate teachers. Study after study, however, has shown that this kind of evaluation does not produce reliable results. It also encourages pumping up test scores without real learning.

We all understand the need to assess students and evaluate teachers. But the brave new online tests are not the way to do it.

Stephen Krashen

The writer is professor emeritus at the University of Southern California Los Angeles' Rossier School of Education.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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