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Race to the Top - Research Paper Example

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Name Tutor Task Date Race to the Top This is a federal assessment program where the program is guided by two main proposals: Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SMAB) and Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). However, there is an issue with the program because it has been expanded to test the quality of both teachers and principals…
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Download file to see previous pages The assessment was supposed to be common for everyone throughout the state for purposes of uniformity. Disabled students were considered so they could also participate in the program. Those with the language barrier especially in English were given special accommodations. The program was meant to measure certain standards that previous programs could not. The main aim was to make scoring uniform so that colleges could use the same results for placement purposes. The discussions of the pros and cons of that program are meant to help us decide on whether the program was effective or not. Cons The first issue is that the program applies the use of multiple-choice questions in their assessment. In as much as such kind of questions reduce subjectivity when marking and scoring, they have been shown to narrow the curriculum. In addition to this, scanty reading and guesswork is highly used when answering such questions leading to untrue scores. It is impossible to tell what a student knows and what concepts were never understood. There was the introduction of performance tests in the 1990’s to help improve on the programs. These kinds of assessment included doing practical work, science experiments and extended essays, which enabled the student to apply theory into practice. This was to be seen as a success, but a problem arose in reliability of the scores; score results in some places could not be used to make any important inference. The tests were made of fewer questions and this meant that the area covered was not as extensive as any test should. The seriousness of the validity of performance tests was so vast that by 2002, only a few such kind of tests were given. Seeing all these disadvantages, the federal funding decided increase the number of tests and instead use a range different types of assessments. Nevertheless, this would increase the total cost of developing the tests and even scoring. It was also seen that teachers are forced to pull out of school to score the tests and the inability of such teachers to engage in other activities that foster professional development. Teachers are bound to learn more during their first scoring exercise but this would change over time because of the teacher’s knowledge that scores are compared. In as much as there is professional improvement in instructions given to class, it is very hard for a teacher to change instructions that will cater for the unique needs of each student. In cases where a student was required to express what they know like in performance tests, language and inability to write essays was a hindrance to the accomplishment of many students. Apparently, only valid test scores can be used to make inferences, valid tests are those that give the same result if issued to the same group for a second time. However, such scores cannot be used to test teacher and principal quality because they do not directly do so. This may seem like very small areas but in terms of test reliability and validity, a problem in a small area is bound to make the whole test insignificant. Pros In order to know if an assessment system works, it is important to subject it to rigorous effectiveness exercises. Also for validity, it is important to make tests uniform and to standardize the conditions under which every test is given (Dietel 4). This kind of system enabled educators to perform the two exercises ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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