How much will these standardized tests really change public education?
- Myth: Common Core tests will be much better than current exams, with many items measuring higher-order skills. Reality: The new tests will largely consist of the same old multiple-choice questions.
- Myth: Adoption of Common Core exams will end No Child Left Behind testing overkill. Reality: Under Common Core, there will be many more tests and the same misuses.
- Myth: New multi-state assessments will save taxpayers money. Reality: Test costs will increase for most states. Schools will spend even more for computer infrastructure upgrades.
- Myth: New assessment consortia will actually design the tests rather than well-known test manufacturers who have made mistakes in the past. Reality: The same profit-driven companies, including Pearson, Educational Testing Service and CTB/McGraw-Hill, are producing the tests.
- Myth: Common Core assessments are designed to meet the needs of all students. Reality: Not yet. The new tests could put students with disabilities and English-language learners at risk.
- Myth: Common Core “proficiency” is an objective measure of college- and career-readiness. Reality: Proficiency levels on Common Core tests are subjective, like all performance levels.
- Myth: States have to implement the Common Core assessments.
Reality: No, they don’t.
I have never seen a high-stakes test that I liked. The only people I’ve seen in favor of them have been 1) The companies that make and grade them for a profit, 2) Politicians who may or may not be getting money from said companies, and 3) Administrators whose jobs depend on high scores, since to do otherwise would risk their continued employment.