The Test That Wounds

Johnson, Katie
February 1991
Educational Leadership;Feb1991, Vol. 48 Issue 5, p100
This article relates the author's experience administering the California Test of Basic Skills to grade 1 students. I have heard, here and there, that standardized test results are not statistically valid for children younger than second grade. I have watched a lot of children make any old mark in the little circles. They have figured out that it does not make sense and they resolve the dilemma by simply getting it over with. When all the little circles have been filled in, the disheartened children close the booklets for the last time. The heartsore teacher puts their chairs back into groups, and the children, looking for security blankets, all get out their writing folders. Many of these first after-test stories are the most extravagantly imaginary stories they have written. It is as if the testing has made the classroom, that secure and exciting place, a reality they need to escape from for a while. The test has made them doubt: they wonder if their writing is right; they wonder if they can read, after all; I wonder if they will ever believe me again. We are all unsettled. INSET: Are Today's Students Really Different from Youngsters in the....


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