Monthly Archives: August 2010

Problems with value added measures

Value added? Think again

Value added? Think again

As the Obama administration rolls out the funding for its Race for the Top, a good deal of attention is being paid to value added measures for calculating teachers salaries. Simply put: teachers in many areas will be paid based on their students’ test scores.  Like everything, there are pros and cons. But for a person who’s working with the effects of stress on performance, and until certain things about value added measures are rethought,  I’m going to give this two thumbs decidedly down.

A good, brief comprehensive summary on the problems with value added measures is by cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham. Of the

Read more ›

Posted in Uncategorized

He's right: "Testing doesn't equal learning."

The quote above is the title of a blog post by NY City Councilman Mark Weprin, in YourName.com.

In a short but impassioned statement Weprin states: “[High stakes tests] are likely to reflect the rampant use of test-preparation drills that keep scores high but rob students of the opportunity for real learning. I am not participating in the hand-wringing over lower percentages of students deemed proficient because I reject the premise that high-stakes standardized tests ever provided

Read more ›

Posted in Uncategorized

A reader responds: "…now I know there is hope"

Send us your comments

Send us your comments

Today I received an email from Cecilia M, a person who has attempted taking a professional qualifying exam many times. Here is her email:

Hello, Dr B.

I just read your book. Thank you for writing it . I have been taking the National Dental board for years, yes for for years!! I’ve done Part One may be ten times, and the more I tried to passed it the more anxious I became (I identified with each one of the cases you described in the book), so I stopped trying for three years until I decided to take it again. I prepared for at least four months…

Read more ›

Posted in Uncategorized

Open the book to any page…

A close friend of mine — a nurse at an inner city high school —  told me the following story…

“I was in my office and an 11th grader came in all distraught worked up.  This is one tough kid– she’s had many troubles in her life, and has gotten into a lot of trouble too. She’s usually closed down and angry.  On the day she came into my office she was very upset — she’d had had a bad fight with a close friend who rejected her. She was angry and ready to strike out. I didn’t know what to do with her. She couldn’t sit still.  When I glimpsed The Workbook for Test Success

Read more ›

Posted in Uncategorized