Re: [xmca] article: Seeing No Progress, Some Schools Drop Laptops

From: Kevin Rocap <Kevin.Rocap who-is-at>
Date: Sat May 05 2007 - 13:45:04 PDT

Dear friends,

It may be too obvious to state, but I think another cause for concern is
this persistent faith in standardized tests as a good or even adequate
measure of math/literacy knowledge, skills and/or learning. It seems
to me you can't meaningfully introduce an innovative use of laptops in a
program and not have the form of assessment you use to ascertain its
value ALSO shift and change, no? That simply hasn't occurred in the
instances cited in this article.

Further, we have data to show that standardized tests may often be
flawed. Not only is it possible that students who don't score well will
still have learned more useful/beneficial and demonstrable math or
literacy skills and knowledge than they would have otherwise (if
measured by performance- or alternative-assessment opportunities - part
of what the interest in gaming is, no?), but it has also been
demonstrated in the work of the International Adult Literacy Survey
(IALS) that students who score WELL on standardized paper and pencil
tests could not PERFORM well at all in performance-based assessments in
the adult literacy areas of Prose, Quantitative and Document
Competencies. Prose Competencies refer to many basic/key work/life
literacy activities, Quantitative Competencies reflect math and numeracy
in work/life situated contexts and Document Competencies focus on
information literacy (e.g., ability to research, locate, utilize
documents for desired ends/purposes). So what if the high standardized
test scorers also include a large number of learners who can't perform
when it counts? How will they have been well-served by the use of
standardized test measures and the promotion of programs (to the
exclusion of all others) that elicit high scores on these?

So, even if they are the codified tools of assessment for NCLB,
standardized tests may simply be flawed and wrong methods for assessing
the value to 21st century teaching and learning of laptops or any of a
range of other current and emerging technologies, no? What am I
missing? (though I'd certainly agree about the lack of professional
development opportunities for teachers and schools that would make a
difference in laptop use, and also appreciate the technical
infrastructure challenges mentioned - but any tools, methods, concepts
will fail when actors are not properly prepared to generate, receive
and.or use them, nor are provided the infrastructure that helps make
them reliable and trustworthy).

My two cents. ;-)

In Peace,

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Received on Sat May 5 14:46 PDT 2007

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