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That is why standardized testing is so important. I understand the "teaching to the test" argument against it but we really need a way to judge the effectiveness of different methods and educators in a system of such importance.
This assumes that standardized testing efficiently measures the effectiveness of different methods or educators.

Sure that will drag a teacher's aggregate down but you can see a teacher's worth when you see little Timmy advance 3% in 2nd grade, 2% in 3rd grade, 3% in 4th grade, 10% in 5th grade, and 3% in 6th grade. Whoever that 5th grade teacher was did something special.
That is a completely unreasonable assumption, based on nothing but correlation.
 
This assumes that standardized testing efficiently measures the effectiveness of different methods or educators.
Nope. All it has to measure is 'x' relative to the standard and so long as the standard does not change then the data is useful. Correlation is good enough to get actionable data. Certainly more can be gleaned and would be of great use. Experts can investigate the 'why' later, Get the data first and go from there.
 
Nope. All it has to measure is 'x' relative to the standard and so long as the standard does not change then the data is useful.
That's ludicrous. If one isn't sure that one is measuring anything of value, talking actions on potentially worthless data could be counter-productive.
 
That's ludicrous. If one isn't sure that one is measuring anything of value, talking actions on potentially worthless data could be counter-productive.
When it comes to choosing an educational institution for your own kids that is a judgement and decision you can choose to make but you shouldn’t have the ability to deny other parents information. These are public institutions and I believe an informed public is key to making sure their institutions are not mismanaged by incompetent or agenda driven administrators who wish to treat their stakeholders like mushrooms.
 
When it comes to choosing an educational institution for your own kids that is a judgement and decision you can choose to make but you shouldn’t have the ability to deny other parents information. These are public institutions and I believe an informed public is key to making sure their institutions are not mismanaged by incompetent or agenda driven administrators who wish to treat their stakeholders like mushrooms.
Pinning overall educational achievement to the results of standardized testing is mismanagement and treating children like mushrooms.
 
It is a useful data point. I agree that I'd like to see more and already mentioned that I'd like to see college acceptance rates, college graduation rates, and 24-years-old earning rates. I'd also like a career sector breakdown, criminal conviction rate, and even divorce statistics. This is all information that is gathered by the government and the government could make this available in a school-centric report. It isn't just how well a school is training you to answer a math problem, but how is a school preparing you to be a productive member of society?

Where I don't agree is the idea that because standardized testing isn't the bestest possible measure evar of a thing means that we shouldn't collect data.
 
In Utah it’s illegal for teachers to access state required standardized tests before a certain date (usually right before they’re administered).

In Utah, it’s illegal to have a state required standardized test count towards a student’s grade. So there’s zero incentive for a student to actually try.

In Utah, it’s illegal to require all students to take state required standardized testing. Parents (especially engaged and affluent ones) can and do opt their children out of standardized testing.
 
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In Utah it’s illegal for teachers to access state required standardized tests before a certain date (usually right before they’re administered).

In Utah, it’s illegal to have a state required standardized test count towards a student’s grade. So there’s zero incentive for a student to actually try.

In Utah, it’s illegal to require all students to take state required standardized testing. Parents (especially engaged and affluent ones) can and do opt their children out of standardized testing.
Sorry but I flat out don't believe any of what you list is a real barrier and is instead an excuse. I think you already know the work around. Here is how it works in a system not run by those not trying their best to weasel out of gathering this data:

Classes have provisional barriers to enrollment. No one has to take a test and everyone can get in to the basic class. There is a level of classes more advanced and to get in to those you need to surpass a certain testing threshold. There is even a tier above that for the highest testing students. The engaged parents and especially the affluent ones send their kids to test prep to help them score high on the tests so their kids will have the expanded opportunity. The test prep services don't have access to the state required tests either but still they are very good at knowing the types of questions that will be asked.

I think the reason you won't admit the obvious work around is the demographic composition of the students testing at the various thresholds. Asian and white students will be over represented in the higher tiers, and you'll get called racist for it so you put up objections to not have to deal with having possession of the data. For too many administrators, cowardice overshadows doing the right thing for students, parents, and society.
 
In Utah it’s illegal for teachers to access state required standardized tests before a certain date (usually right before they’re administered).

In Utah, it’s illegal to have a state required standardized test count towards a student’s grade. So there’s zero incentive for a student to actually try.

In Utah, it’s illegal to require all students to take state required standardized testing. Parents (especially engaged and affluent ones) can and do opt their children out of standardized testing.
I was a garbage student and I usually had very poor grades.

I always scored very well on standardized tests.

Doing well on those tests always helped me a lot. It kept me from being held back. It kept me from being placed in programs for special needs kids. It was the only reason I was in the gifted and talented programs.

If I (and my parents) couldn't point to those scores, I would have been in remedial classes and at least a grade behind, if not two.

Tests have been my best friend in the world. It isn't close.
 
I was a garbage student and I usually had very poor grades.

I always scored very well on standardized tests.

Doing well on those tests always helped me a lot. It kept me from being held back.
In Utah, public schools haven’t held students back due to academic performance for 40+ years. An LEA can hold a student back a grade if parents request they be held back due to certain specific reasons. But holding a student back without a parent requesting it hasn’t occurred to my knowledge in most states for a long time. Studies show doing so typically does more harm than good.

It kept me from being placed in programs for special needs kids.
Educators can only recommend special education services. Mandating special services doesn’t actually happen in Utah. We are a very “parent right” friendly state.

It was the only reason I was in the gifted and talented programs.
In Utah, it might be illegal to tract students based on standardized test scores. Im Pretty sure it is. I believe the legislature might’ve touched on this a few years ago but I actually don’t remember code on this. When I was an administrator, what the law was on this didn’t really impact us since it was certainly discouraged by the district to base decisions on advanced school programs, Honors and AP classes on standardized test scores alone. One, because which test scores are we even basing decisions on? The Aspire, which they took in 10th grade? Rise? Or some other super old/expired score? What if those records are difficult to get and we’re up against the registration deadline? What if they're now seniors, are we going to base decisions on some score from 2+ years ago? What if their parents opted them out so they don’t have those scores? What if they moved in from another state or country? This Is a mess to sort out so we didn’t touch it. Two, most LEAs are philosophically against that. Public educators in general want to give all students opportunities in any program students desire.

Which is why usually other criteria such as GPAs, teacher recommendations, etc are included. Ultimately, students are usually allowed into these programs and typically self-select themselves out of them.
If I (and my parents) couldn't point to those scores, I would have been in remedial classes and at least a grade behind, if not two.

Tests have been my best friend in the world. It isn't close.
In the state of Utah, this would be illegal.

Again, the facts in the state of Utah are:

1. Teachers cannot see these tests until it’s time to administer them.

2. Standardized test scores cannot be used to help or hurt a student’s grade. This will force the LEA and district into litigation if this were to happen. There is no reason for students to actually attempt state required standardized tests in Utah. It doesn’t open the door to programs, scholarships, etc nor can it hurt your grade.

3. Parents can and do opt their children out of standardized testing. I want to say the high school I was at had something like 15-20 percent of the student body opting out of testing. And another 5-10 percent who never completed testing (it typically takes several days).
 
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See my above answer to One Brow. The innovation would be making pertinent information easily publicly available. I have a hard time believing schools don't already have data on poor performing educators and poor performing schools but guard it as much as the law allows.

For students who attended Brighton High School, how many graduated college and what do they earn when they are 24-years old? How does that graduation rate and earnings history contrast to those who went to Hillcrest High School? How have those rates from those two schools changed over the past two decades? If you've got a kid who can see one school from his window but is technically in the boundaries of a different school, I think the parents should have access to that information and easily be able to choice-in to the better school for their kid.
Those are really good measures of parental involvement, which is higher in wealthier neighborhoods where parents have more free time.
 
....
In Utah, public schools haven’t held students back due to academic performance for 40+ years. An LEA can hold a student back a grade if parents request they be held back due to certain specific reasons. But holding a student back without a parent requesting it hasn’t occurred to my knowledge in most states for a long time. Studies show doing so typically does more harm than good.


Educators can only recommend special education services. Mandating special services doesn’t actually happen in Utah. We are a very “parent right” friendly state.


In Utah, it might be illegal to tract students based on standardized test scores. Im Pretty sure it is. I believe the legislature might’ve touched on this a few years ago but I actually don’t remember code on this. When I was an administrator, what the law was on this didn’t really impact us since it was certainly discouraged by the district to base decisions on advanced school programs, Honors and AP classes on standardized test scores alone. One, because which test scores are we even basing decisions on? The Aspire, which they took in 10th grade? Rise? Or some other super old/expired score? What if those records are difficult to get and we’re up against the registration deadline? What if they're now seniors, are we going to base decisions on some score from 2+ years ago? What if their parents opted them out so they don’t have those scores? What if they moved in from another state or country? This Is a mess to sort out so we didn’t touch it. Two, most LEAs are philosophically against that. Public educators in general want to give all students opportunities in any program students desire.

Which is why usually other criteria such as GPAs, teacher recommendations, etc are included. Ultimately, students are usually allowed into these programs and typically self-select themselves out of them.

In the state of Utah, this would be illegal.

Again, the facts in the state of Utah are:

1. Teachers cannot see these tests until it’s time to administer them.

2. Standardized test scores cannot be used to help or hurt a student’s grade. This will force the LEA and district into litigation if this were to happen. There is no reason for students to actually attempt state required standardized tests in Utah. It doesn’t open the door to programs, scholarships, etc nor can it hurt your grade.

3. Parents can and do opt their children out of standardized testing. I want to say the high school I was at had something like 15-20 percent of the student body opting out of testing. And another 5-10 percent who never completed testing (it typically takes several days).
This was happening to me in the early 80s. The threat of being held back was presented to me many times. I was an elementary aged kid and not aware of the law. There were kids who were held back in my school so the possibility seemed legit to me.

My laptop is constantly typing periods so if you found any that I didn't catch it wasn't intentional
 
There is no reason for students to actually attempt state required standardized tests in Utah. It doesn’t open the door to programs, scholarships, etc nor can it hurt your grade.
If this is true then:

How do AP classes work in Utah? In the rest of the country, AP classes are essentially test prep classes for the AP exam. Students in the AP classes do not have to take the AP exam and students wanting to take the AP exam do not have to take AP classes. The competency test is 100% optional, but to get college credit requires that a student take the test and to surpass a score threshold. Those who do not take the test and those who do not score high enough do not receive the opportunity to get college credit for that competency.

How do sports teams at Utah public high schools work? In the rest of the country and when I was at a Utah school, there are try-outs that evaluate prowess and the students have differing opportunities based on the evaluations. Some go to varsity while others are on JV. Some are put in the starting line-up and some are lower on the depth chart.

I think AP classes and sports teams work the same in Utah as they do in the rest of the US. I don’t doubt there are laws on the Utah books along the lines of what you say, but there are known work-arounds, and if you dig hard enough you’ll find the testing restrictions were put there to have a convenient excuse by those more interested in the color of someone’s skin or ability to afford school lunch than they are in educating.
 
AP courses are open for all. Students typically self-select out due to course work and the test at the end. There are plenty of other options that might be more preferable like concurrent enrollment or release time to meet a student’s desired needs or goals. This is where a good counselor comes in to help advise parents and students, you know, the bureaucracy that is typically despised by anti public education people. Most students/parents don’t want to spend a year in an AP class killing their GPA and flunking an end of year test when they could’ve been doing something else more productive.

Most extra curricular activities don’t cut. They have tryouts and auditions of course. That’s to get teams organized. But most extra curricular activities are open to every and all students. Students typically self-select themselves out due to the required practices, games, musicals etc. You might be surprised how inclusive public schools are if any of you bothered to spend time inside of them.
 
AP courses are open for all. Students typically self-select out due to course work and the test at the end. There are plenty of other options that might be more preferable like concurrent enrollment or release time to meet a student’s desired needs or goals. This is where a good counselor comes in to help advise parents and students, you know, the bureaucracy that is typically despised by anti public education people. Most students/parents don’t want to spend a year in an AP class killing their GPA and flunking an end of year test when they could’ve been doing something else more productive.
I'm not talking about getting in to the class, but of receiving a benefit, an advantage, an opportunity from passing the competency test at the conclusion.

Most extra curricular activities don’t cut. They have tryouts and auditions of course. That’s to get teams organized.
Yes, exactly. In Japan, they don't cut students in grade school. The schools conduct tests to get the student body organized. If a grade has four teachers then the grade is divided by quartiles with top 25% going to 'A' class, those finishing 26%-50% in 'B'class, etc. There is mid-year test to reevaluate the students and provide movement opportunity. There is a finals test that is used to evaluate for the next year. The pride of being in 'A' class is enough to get students to try hard because peer pressure is a better motivator than anything adults could do to the kids.

We could do that, even in Utah, but we don't because of the same issue mentioned previously. Asian and white students will be over represented in 'A' class so the school will be labeled as racist. Progressive Leftists in education hold the appearance of diversity as a higher virtue than academic achievement. That isn't to say they don't care about academic achievement at all, but sacrifices to education are willingly made in the name of a more diverse and inclusive outcome. When it comes to achievement testing that can offer substantive proof of achievement-focused strategies being more effective, it is fought against tooth and nail.
 
There are plenty of other options that might be more preferable like concurrent enrollment or release time to meet a student’s desired needs or goals.
As a note, this is a point right here where The Thriller and I agree. Do not put your kids in AP classes. Concurrent enrollment and dual enrollment are much better paths.

#1 – Not all universities accept AP credits and of the ones that do, they can differ on what test score is acceptable.

#2 – The effort level for a given grade is almost always lower for a community college course. The amount of hours used to get a ‘B’ in an AP class will likely get you an ‘A’ in a concurrent enrollment class, and the college credit is automatic while in the AP class they’ll have to test for credit.

Concurrent enrollment and release time for dual enrollment is education’s way of sweeping those embarrassing high-performing kids under the rug. Everything stays nice and diverse at the High School while those being educated in courses with a higher level of rigor are doing so under the auspices of an external organization outside their control. From there, the High Schools just needs to avoid achievement testing that would accidentally attribute the benefits of the more rigorous education to the High School.
 
That's ludicrous. If one isn't sure that one is measuring anything of value, talking actions on potentially worthless data could be counter-productive.

Its interesting the way in which bureaucracies collect and farm data, judging by how politicised and ****ed the American education system is I doubt the testing is designed to identify anything useful for the the students. I could see the use in tracking school and curriculum performance across the service as very useful, especially if you are running trial curriculum in certain schools. You can then benchmark by a whole bunch of factors and compare against students overseas i like it.

My experience of this is with working with major health services and how and why they try to capture data is very interesting. My former employer was interested in capturing data but not reporting to the overseeing government body. A culture of silence and under reporting was encouraged by management. Funding for the organisation was pretty much endless so management (which was incredibly dysfunctional and underperforming) encouraged under reporting of issue at every opportunity because it would draw less attention to their poor performance.

My current employer is part publicly part privately funded within this framework we report everything to justify continued investment from the DHHS due to our volume of reportable incidents.
 
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AP courses are open for all. Students typically self-select out due to course work and the test at the end. There are plenty of other options that might be more preferable like concurrent enrollment or release time to meet a student’s desired needs or goals. This is where a good counselor comes in to help advise parents and students, you know, the bureaucracy that is typically despised by anti public education people. Most students/parents don’t want to spend a year in an AP class killing their GPA and flunking an end of year test when they could’ve been doing something else more productive.

Most extra curricular activities don’t cut. They have tryouts and auditions of course. That’s to get teams organized. But most extra curricular activities are open to every and all students. Students typically self-select themselves out due to the required practices, games, musicals etc. You might be surprised how inclusive public schools are if any of you bothered to spend time inside of them.

Don't those extra curricular activities only exist so rich kids from connected families can get into the top schools while the poor kids with better grades miss out? Its a ****ing joke that being part of a glee club or whatever the **** you call it matters when getting into university. That said most American universities at an undergraduate level are little better in terms of the teaching delivered than most Australian high schools.
 
#2 – The effort level for a given grade is almost always lower for a community college course. The amount of hours used to get a ‘B’ in an AP class will likely get you an ‘A’ in a concurrent enrollment class, and the college credit is automatic while in the AP class they’ll have to test for credit.

I did a TAFE course offered by a leading Australian university, it was harder than my degree. Its a very well respected course which is why i picked it but **** it was demanding.
 
I did a TAFE course offered by a leading Australian university, it was harder than my degree. Its a very well respected course which is why i picked it but **** it was demanding.
In the United States we have a mid-level education called ‘community college’. It was supposed to be equivalent to the freshman and sophomore year of university but for those who either didn’t qualify for university straight out of high school or couldn’t afford the higher price of university education. That isn’t the way it is working in practice today.

"Among students between the ages of 20 and 24, enrollment [at community college] was down 27% as of the spring compared with pre-Covid levels. It was also down 22% among students between the ages of 25 and 34."


Total enrollment at community colleges is up, but it is up mainly because it has become the accelerated learning path of choice for high school students. The students are still in high school but they take classes from the college, sometimes even in classrooms at the high school during the school day as if it were any other class, but instructed by college instructors. The class counts on your high school transcript and on your university transcript.
 
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