Please Explain: Tests

Friday, January 07, 2011

SAT, PSAT, LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, GRE, NAEP, PISA...when did the nation become obsessed with standardized testing and what do these exams tell us? On this week's Please Explain, testing experts Howard Everson and David Rindskopf explain how these tests are put together and what they are supposed to evaluate. Dr. Everson is co-chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for the National Center for Education and the Economy, as well as the chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for Testing and Assessment for the New York State Education Department. Dr. Rindskopf is Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology and Psychology at the City University of New York Graduate School.


Howard Everson and David Rindskopf

Comments [10]

This feels like a joke. These professors don't even answer the difficult questions posed by listeners, but just repeat that "these are difficult questions". They seem like apologists for a system designed around Standardized Testing that is clearly broken. ALL teachers, and ALL students know this.

Apr. 20 2011 02:41 PM
Fafa from Harlem

I think test makers will continue to have trouble "eliminating" test biases, because the effects of socialization on testing and the vastly different psycho-social experiences across populations in America are not adequately appreciated.
Thanks for the segment.

Jan. 07 2011 01:58 PM
Mary Roccanova from Hicksville, NY

Just a comment about "fairness". The script read by the proctors of the SAT does not require students to erase their calculator memories. Students can store hundreds of formulas on the calculators and there is nothing to stop them from using them on the test. I believe the SAT should eliminate calculators to level the playing field. (I think the SAT doesn't require students to erase calculators because an English teacher wouldn't know how it's done.)

Jan. 07 2011 01:57 PM

I am a little disappointed that the show seems a little like an ad for standardized testing.

As a current medical student, I believe that many of the problems in medicine today come from standardized testing. To be able to get into medical school, you have to be anti social and uninvolved, spending most of your time studying. The majority of my classmates have very little life experience, have never worked a day in their life, but come from families that could afford to provide them with private/semiprivate tutoring to get into medical school. This is why we have doctors that have no bedside manor and can't relate to each other or to their patients.

Sadly, it seems like medical education is going away from clinical training. For example, New York Medical College now bases 100% of their clinical year grades on national standardized tests. Students now have to avoid clinical experience to spend their time in the library. I see very little value in the emphasis on standardized tests.

Jan. 07 2011 01:57 PM
Ana from NJ

Please explain the business part of all this testing where only one institution "ETS" is monopolizing the profits of all this mandatory testing.

Jan. 07 2011 01:55 PM
john from office

I am tired of the claims of racism in test. Try reading at home, explaining the world to your child and taking off the headphones. I grew up poor in brooklyn, spanish neighborhood and did well on test. Why, because I was encouraged by mom and dad.

Fix the home, all else will follow.

Jan. 07 2011 01:52 PM
Jennifer from New Jersey

It's not just teachers who are responsible for "teaching to the test"! I've seen too many administrators (principals, content supervisors and superintendents) who pressure and advise teachers that there's no time to teach for understanding (particularly in math), only time to teach so more students pass the test.

Jan. 07 2011 01:51 PM
m hartman from NJ

Just started listening to you perhaps this was metioned. please ask : Is it true that in the early part of the 1900's ,tests were puposely set up to ake it harder for African Am's?
also just heard you talk about teaching tothe test. This has been a tradgedy to Am. Ed. ( I am a retired teacher of learnining disabled students).
Thank you

Jan. 07 2011 01:47 PM

Too much testing! Time to through all this junk out of the window. Time to teach CREATIVE thinking.

Jan. 07 2011 01:32 PM
Barbara from westchester county

Please ask your guests about the "Volvo effect," i.e., that SAT results correlate better with a student's family's socioeconomic status rather than any kind of ability/performance.

Jan. 07 2011 01:31 PM

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