“Language is power. The ability for young people to communicate articulately and intelligently is of huge importance, not only for themselves but also for the way in which they are perceived by others,” writes Lindsay Johns in the August 16, 2011 London Evening Standard in the wake of the recent UK riots.
The recent discovery of vast numbers of teachers in Atlanta who faked students’ scores on high stakes tests is an astonishing twist in the use of tests in U.S. public schools.
To deal with this issue, some have called for the elimination of standardized tests. However, we feel that accountability data is too important to stakeholders to drop completely.
Hopelessness about how to improve student achievement is one of the reasons teachers felt compelled to cheat on these standardized tests.
If teachers had a better way to know where students stood academically, if they had a better idea about the areas where their students needed help, if the teachers felt they had a chance to help all their students, then perhaps there would be less incentive to cheat.
And it goes without saying that if students received the evaluation, support, and direction they needed, their scores improve.
Teachers need useful, formative assessments to help them determine each student’s strengths and weaknesses. Administrators need a way to know during the school year if their teachers are actually helping their students. Students deserve to learn and achieve.
All groups need a partner to show them how this can be done. This is where Merit Software fits in.
Earlier this month, McKinsey & Company published “The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools.”
The report finds that the educational gaps between black and Latino students and white students impose on the U.S. the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession. Read More