Many colleges and universities across the country have been dropping their requirements for ACT or SAT testing, according to Bob Schaeffer who is with the National Center for Fair and Open Testing. On <a href=”http://610kvnu.com/assets/podcaster/324/2015_06_03_324_34103_2867.mp3″ target=”_blank”>KVNU’s For the People program Wednesday</a>, Schaeffer said some institutions are now making tests optional, including some in Utah.
He said in the education world we have become “test crazy” in the last 15 years and many parents, teachers, administrators and other decision makers complain about the over-use and misuse of standardized tests.
Instead, Schaeffer favors other methods.
“The type of system that our test supports is one of a Reagen-esque trust but verify,” he explained. “Start off with grade assessments run by the local teacher at local schools.
“Nobody is talking about doing away with tests kids normally take, the weekly spelling test, the midterm, the final exam, the science project, the oral book report. All of those things will continue.”
What Schaeffer doesn’t want is the continuation of what has been happening, with so much riding on how well these students fare on just a few tests.
“What we need to get rid of are these high-stakes, politically-mandated standardized tests that come from politicians from Washington, DC or the state capitol which don’t help improve educational quality or equity.”
He said the National Center for Fair and Open Testing favors a system in which teachers give grades, the grades are checked by outside authorities that may include occasional use of standardized tests to make sure grading is done fairly, accurately and to high standards.