Test Scores are Not a Game

The era of high stakes accountability tests has created a numbers game. Here are common tactics now being employed by school districts attempting to improve accountability ratings:

  • Target the low students to get them to pass while the rest of the class is doing independent work.
  • Sort the scores and find which students we can bump to the next level of performance.
  • Hold encouraging conferences with a select number of students to get their scores to go up.
  • Provide additional instruction to limited students to boost their scores.

…and many more.

Belying most of these types of tactics is a particular focus: ratings. Our ratings.

If we play this game, would it be more accurate to change the message to match the culture? If so, the message would be: ratings-focused instruction.

That’s a lot different than human-centered learning…much less, student-centered instruction.

I propose one thought: test scores are not a game.

This is learning, and this is life. Human life. We can do better.


{Read more from leading educational experts Katie White, The Future of Assessment & Latoya Dixon, Unintended Consequences of Accountability}

PS – We just finished a server upgrade, so email delivery of this post is a little cattywampus…my apologies if you received this twice – here’s to faster servers!