15 January 2019

Testing, testing: the 123's of testing

Here's my summary of the new Annika Bergbauer, Eric Hanushek, and Ludger Woessmann working paper for CFEE.
"teachers tend to oppose standardised tests, partly because they perceive them to narrow the curriculum and crowd out wider learning. However, it is intuitive that the effects of testing could vary dramatically by context. Indeed, the impact may very well follow a so-called “Laffer curve”. At low levels of testing, an increase may lead to better performance as it provides relevant information and incentives to actors in the education system. Yet if there are already high levels of testing, further increases may very well decrease performance, due to stress, for example, or the effects of an overly-narrowed curriculum. If so, we should expect the impact of testing to follow an inverted U-curve – or at the very least display diminishing returns. Furthermore, the impact of tests is also likely to depend on exactly how they are used in the education system. 
This paper provides perhaps the first systematic evidence on these issues"
Read the rest here.

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