Over at Medium, I have a new piece, a different type of piece for me. I offer up a stump speech to all of those individuals currently seeking the presidency of the United States of America. Sure, we have heard many (most?) bash Common Core and testing and the like. But what would it look like if they were to come to defense of testing.
My stump speech, I Believe In a Tool Called Testing, offers just that. I dare a candidate to use all or part of it in talking about the importance of GOOD testing and how it can and should be used to improve both teaching and learning in our schools. As I write:
Good tests are invaluable tools in improving student learning outcomes. They track progress and identify gaps in learning. They provide teachers with valuable feedback on what is happening in the classroom. They equip parents and families with a true understanding of how their children are doing and how they stand against their classmates. Used properly, they can instill confidence in all of us when it comes to our schools, our kids, and our future.
Unfortunately, in recent years, we have seen test results misused and downright abused. We have seen outcomes bastardized and we have seen shortcomings held up as proof of failure of our schools, our teachers, and ourselves.
Give the whole thing a read. If you’re running for office, try saying it loud when you have a few thousand people around listening to you. You won’t be disappointed.