Educational testing pioneer Gene Glass explains, Why I Am No Longer a Measurement Specialist. blog
My mentors had served in WWII. Many did research on human factors — measuring aptitudes and talents and matching them to jobs. Assessments showed who were the best candidates to be pilots or navigators or marksmen. We were told that psychometrics had won the war; and of course, we believed it.
Psychologists of the 1960s & 1970s were saying that just measuring talent wasn't enough. Talents had to be matched with the demands of tasks to optimize performance. Measure a learning style, say, and match it to the way a child is taught.
Measurement has changed along with the nation. In the last three decades, the public has largely withdrawn its commitment to public education. The reasons are multiple: those who pay for public schools have less money, and those served by the public schools look less and less like those paying taxes.
Teachers and many parents understand that children’s development is far too complex to capture with an hour or two taking a standardized test. So resistance has been met with legislated mandates.
The test company lobbyists convince politicians that grading teachers and schools is as easy as grading cuts of meat. Politicians believe that testing must be the cornerstone of any education policy.
Many teachers put their best judgment and best lessons aside and drill children on how to score high on multiple-choice tests. And too many of the best teachers exit the profession.
Recently I asked my dean to switch my affiliation from the measurement program to the policy program. I am no longer comfortable being associated with the discipline of educational measurement.
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