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Topic: Re(2): Standards and achievement
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Richard Fouchaux

Posts: 70
Registered: 12/6/04
Re(2): Standards and achievement
Posted: Sep 3, 1995 5:30 PM
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First, I'd like to welcome Dan back to the list. Your opinions never fail to
stimulate thought, and your well-formed rebuttals likewise.

I'm afraid though, that I cannot agree with your position on standardized
tests. It calls to mind a distinction made in the Standards, that between
useful knowledge and powerful knowledge. I can see limited circumstances when
a standardized test might prove a useful exercise - such as forcing a class to
study (and this will only work if they are scared of the consequences of not
studying by a whole range of other factors which must be set up in advance) or
attempting to create a real-world analogy to a time when they might be asked
to perform under high stress, but I can see nothing lasting or powerful about
that type of exercise, unless it is the power that is exertyed over them by
the teacher.

I have to agree with Karen Dee Michalowicz that standardized tests really only
measure an ability to take standardized tests. And since we haven't yet done
a formal study, here's the testimony of one former calculus student (albeit
more like 15 years later, not the 1 or 2 Tad suggested): I studied one year
of calculus in college. I got a B one semester, and an A the next. I do not
remember even one iota of it at the present time. I still do well on
standardized tests, though!

Richard Fouchaux


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