standardized testing

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Teacher's Amazing 'Homework' Assignment Goes Viral

Ride a bike, read a book—but don't study for longer than an hour

(Newser) - Students in the UK are taking their standardized tests this week, and one teacher's "homework" assignment in advance of the testing is going viral, Mashable reports. "It is vital that you use your time this weekend wisely," reads the piece of paper handed out last week,... More »

Dad's Cheeky Absence Note Takes on Standardized Testing

Chicago's Jeff Jenkins said his daughter couldn't wait to get back to exams

(Newser) - A Chicago girl was sick from school on Wednesday, so her dad had to pen a note to explain her absence. And Jeff Jenkins didn't hold back in describing both why she missed class and how he feels about standardized testing, CBS Chicago reports. After noting his child had... More »

Va. School Finds Its Lost SATs— in Own Building

Oddly, 236 tests were in the shipping area

(Newser) - A month after 236 SATs went missing , school officials in Loudoun County, Va., found the tests yesterday—and they weren't exactly in the hands of UPS as the school had initially claimed, reports NBC Washington . Rather, they were neatly boxed up sitting in a cart in Broad Run High... More »

Virginia Students Told Their SAT Tests Have Vanished

Loudoun County kids who took it May 2 might have to subject themselves to it again

(Newser) - As far as anxiety-fueling tests, here's one that tops the SAT: the SAT do-over. At least 100 high schoolers in Loudoun County, Va., have been told they may have to take the SAT all over again because their tests have gone missing (some reports say 100 kids; WJLA puts... More »

Thousands Opt Out of Common Core Tests

Movement appears to be growing in parts of the country

(Newser) - Thousands of students are opting out of new standardized tests aligned to the Common Core standards, defying the latest attempt by states to improve academic performance. This "opt-out" movement remains scattered but is growing fast in some parts of the country. Some superintendents in New York are reporting that... More »

SAT Scores May Count ... in Your 40s

Companies asking job candidates for their scores, even into middle age

(Newser) - Even if you have gray hair and can't really remember taking the SATs, your scores could still come back to haunt you. The Wall Street Journal finds that companies are asking job candidates for their scores even into middle age. College entrance exam scores, says a recruitment head at... More »

SAT Scores: Not So Hot at Predicting College Success

High school grades a much better indicator of likely college success: study

(Newser) - The SATs were created to offer a way to help less-privileged students show their skills—but these days, the stressful tests "serve more to truncate access than to open it," says William Hiss, a former dean at Bates College. He and his team have conducted what could be... More »

Arne Duncan Sorry for 'White Suburban Moms' Remark

Education secretary sparks online debate over standardized testing

(Newser) - Education Secretary Arne Duncan—who upset a few people with his "white suburban moms" remark on Friday—fully back-peddled today and apologized for his "clumsy" phrasing, CNN reports. To recap, Duncan said he was fascinated by opposition to his plan for standardized testing because his opponents included "... More »

Linking Teacher Pay to Test Scores Is a Joke

Eugene Robinson: Corruption allegations in Atlanta prove the point

(Newser) - The huge corruption case in Atlanta schools makes one thing clear, writes Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post : It's time we put an end to the dumb idea of linking teacher pay to standardized test scores. Prosecutors say the former superintendent and others collected fat bonuses for improved scores—... More »

Teachers' Strike End in Sight After City Makes Concessions

Sides hoping to have school tomorrow

(Newser) - Bad news, kids of Chicago: There may be school tomorrow. Negotiators for both the city and the teachers union emerged from yesterday's talks with fresh optimism, saying they hoped to have school back in session by Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. "I'm smiling. I'm very happy,... More »

NY Test Asks Kids About Baffling 'Talking Pineapple'

Bizarre story befuddles New York students, teachers

(Newser) - No amount of studying could prepare students to assess the wisdom of a talking pineapple, but that's what New York kids were asked to do on a state test. The eighth-grade reading exam offered a fable-like story about a pineapple challenging a hare to a race. Other animals weigh... More »

Banned From NYC Tests: Dinosaurs, Aliens, Birthdays

Officials ban 50 subjects from city-wide assessment tests

(Newser) - New York City test-makers are going to have a hard time coming up with acceptable questions to place on students' tests, after officials decided to ban 50 subjects including dinosaurs and birthdays. Why? Because those topics have been deemed potentially controversial, and could make kids upset: Dinosaurs, for example, could... More »

School's Plan to Boost Test Scores: Feed Kids Placebos

Florida elementary school students given 'FCAT PowerBars'

(Newser) - A Florida elementary school wants its students to perform better on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test … so it's feeding them "placebos." Hagen Road Elementary students will be given an "FCAT PowerBar"—aka an apple-flavored cereal bar with a label reading, "Warning: Improves Writing... More »

Chinese Students Go Extreme for College Entry Test

Kids and parents stop at nothing to ensure passing score

(Newser) - Suddenly, the SATs seem like a leisurely way to spend a Saturday. Chinese students and their families have turned preparation for the country's college entrance exam into a national obsession. Some students study hooked up to oxygen tanks in an effort to improve concentration, girls take birth control to... More »

Test-Prep Giant Stanley Kaplan Dead at 90

Founder of test-prep firm challenged thinking about SAT

(Newser) - Stanley Kaplan, founder of the test-prep behemoth that bears his name, died this weekend of heart failure at age 90, the Washington Post reports. Kaplan’s company not only helped millions of students level the playing field in what he described as a “poor man’s private school” but... More »

Another Memphis Player Accused of SAT Cheating

Dozier's initial results were invalidated

(Newser) - Another former University of Memphis player has a dodgy-looking SAT score in his past, ESPN reports. Robert Dozier was originally set to go to Georgia, until the school noticed that he’d scored a 1260 on his SAT, a score drastically better than his practice exams. The NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse... More »

Students Can Hide Low Scores With New SAT Policy

(Newser) - “What did you get on your SATs?” is now a multiple-choice question. A policy enacted last month allows students who take the test several times to pick which score they send to colleges, the Washington Post reports. But many schools aren’t thrilled with the change, and a quarter... More »

Teach to the Test—But Make Better Tests

Tie reading passages in with curriculum to even playing field

(Newser) - Critics worry that the current system of “fill-in-the-bubble” school testing promotes teaching to the test—but maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing if we had tests “worth teaching to,” writes Ed Hirsch Jr in the New York Times. The tests themselves are highly reliable... More »

At More and More Colleges, SAT Is Now MIA

Standardized test seen as poorly calibrated measure of students' abilities

(Newser) - Colleges are fleeing the SAT, saying the standardized test is not a reliable predictor of academic success, the Boston Globe reports. But though a coalition is forming against the requirement, even doubtful admission officials see the need for a field-leveler for disparate applicants. “The SAT only measures how good... More »

Throw Out SAT, Say College Deans

Panel recommends move away from standardized testing

(Newser) - Colleges should make admissions decisions without requiring the SAT or ACT, says a group of deans led by Harvard's admissions chief in a yearlong study that concluded standardized tests distort students' high school experiences, exacerbate class disparities, and enrich only the billion-dollar test prep industry. Instead, say the admissions officers,... More »

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