alfie kohn on standardized testing

Alfie Kohn's keynote at Regina Teachers Convention 2014 in Saskatchewan, Canada. Lots of laughs and humor amidst discussion of standardized testing (and some about project-based learning). From the video:
..."To reach an important goal (like meaningful teaching and learning) it is sometimes necessary to actively oppose practices that get in the way (like standardized tests and a one-size-fits-all provincial curriculum) ... the US offers a cautionary tale, not an exemplary model, for school reform ... legal cheating ...[is] teaching to the test ... let's talk about when higher test scores are not merely meaningless but unfortunate ... *standardized assessments simultaneously overestimates and underestimates students* ... there was a statistically significant negative relatioship between test scores and depth of thinking ... it may be troubling to hear about high scores ... the wuestion becomes, at what cost have we raised those scores ... please learn from the US ... scores on various tests are jacked up by turning whole schools into test prep factories ... do our children get enough recess and time for play? ... don't be misled by language just because they call it formative ... educate and organize the parents ... but what we have learned is to make parents your ally ... one interestig study came out of Colorado ... very traditional parents ... thought well, great, let's have some accountability ... and then the parents were shown not only standardized tests abut authentic forms of assessment that are not standardized ... [they changed their views] ... what should be called the 'every child left nehind act' ... the more we're focused on testing. the less we're focused on learning ... what happened in Japan years ago ... the teachers ... [refused] because they're bad for children ... now I want to suggest a possibility you may find more unsettling ... some teachers ... may have accepted the same sensibility .... I want to suggest five things that should give us pause ... even teacher-designed tests are not a good way to [test] ... the most talented teachers almost never give tests ... because they don't need them ... classrooms are not corporations that produce widgets ... the more focused we are on measureable outcomes, the more trivial the teaching will become ... measureable outcomes may be the least significant results of learning ...


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