The Importance Of Testing In Education

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intervention” (Herman, Dreyfus & Goldman, 1990, p. 3) as they claimed the increase in high-stakes testing itself has powerful impact on “classroom learning” (Herman, Dreyfus & Goldman, 1990, p. 3) and instructional techniques (p. 8). This publication was written twelve years before No Child Left Behind was signed into law, so it represents the beneficial aspects of testing on teaching and learning without the context of No Child Left Behind to skew our thinking as a result of that contentious legislation. It might be easy to forget that the presence of these high stakes tests have had a positive influence on teaching and learning and by including tests and other accountability measures in policy, the policy developers are calling for educators …show more content…
Here we see the role of policy is to influence both thinking decision making. Calling for assessments of these soft skills was a bold move intended to drive research about the role non-cognitive competencies play in student achievement, curriculum to be redesigned to help increase these skills and abilities, teachers to foster their development through their instructional strategies, and researchers to design valid assessments to help educators learn where students are and how they may increase their non-cognitive competencies (p. 245). However, if the call for assessments eventually leads to punishments and rewards for growth – or lack thereof – of students’ non-cognitive competencies, one has to question if there are other ways to move educators toward a desired …show more content…
Does this mean assessing non-cognitive competencies is the answer? Rattan, Savani, Chugh, and Dweck (2015) offer several policy recommendations to improve student mindsets: include mindsets in federal grant proposal guidelines; make them a written policy objective in Department of Education publications; encourage states to request federal money to begin interventions; teach mindsets during content-area classes; invest in curricular materials; provide PD to teachers on how to grow students’ mindsets; and increase research and publish research findings in resources such as the Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse (p. 723). A list such as this could have been written to propel forward a myriad of educational reform recommendations: formative classroom assessments, cooperative learning, project based learning, mathematics process standards, media literacy, metacognition, digital writing, personalized learning, and content area literacy standards are just a few. This short list of “hot topics” fill bookshelves, professional journals, and conference agendas. Each of the interchangeable terms for non-cognitive competencies, mindsets; grit; social and emotional learning; soft skills; and personal qualities, fit comfortably on this list. Like other

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