Assessments: Formal or Alternative? Essay

1356 Words 6 Pages
To test or not to test or how to test has become an ongoing debate within education. With the implementation of No Child Left Behind, schools have been pressured to have all students on grade level and increase test scores. Society has become obsessed with measuring and comparing students. Society has become competitive with other countries test scores. Schools are graded with Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), a way to measure the improvement in achieving standards for all students each year. Schools must publicly report their scores and there are consequences for not achieving AYP.
The struggle of how to assess students has been an on-going conflict in the recent years. There is the traditional pencil paper or the “new” alternative
…show more content…
There are usually a variety of questions that are parallel in difficulty. Teacher made test are often considered Criterion test. Both types of test are usually objective and have only one right answer. The test can also be subjective with open ended and in depth questions. To create fair test for students the questions must be the same for all students. Both can be used to monitor individual skills of students.
The problem with just using Norm and/or Criterion testing is that not all students are considered “good” test-takers. There are students that can regurgitate information back onto a paper and pencil test with no problem. Then there are students who know the information, can have a conversation about the information but they are not able to put it into words or multiple choice answers on a test. This is where the alternative form of assessing a student’s ability comes into play.
Traditional verses Alternative Assessment Traditional assessments are based around test and test scores. Students are given a test, the test is graded, maybe reviewed by student, teacher moves on, and it is possible that the student may fall behind if the student lacked skills from the current unit. Traditional assessments are used, most of the time, for data purposes. The teachers gather information on standards that may need to be reviewed or how to group students. Examples of traditional assessments are pre/post test, homework assignments, and

Related Documents