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  Chapter 1
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  Chapter 3
  Chapter 4
  Chapter 5
  Chapter 6
  Chapter 7
  Chapter 8
  Chapter 9
  Chapter 10
  Chapter 11
  Chapter 12
CCVLC Teachers/ Paolo Freire Posters
Digging Deeper: Chapter 7
Assessment: Measuring What Matters

Further Reading

  • Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man (New York: W. W. Norton, 1996) traces the history of efforts to classify and rank people according to their supposed genetic gifts and limits. This revised edition includes a new introduction telling how and why he wrote the book and tracing the subsequent history of the controversy on inherited characteristics, right through The Bell Curve. The book also includes five essays, dealing with The Bell Curve in particular, and with race, racism, and biological determinism in general.
  • The late Asa Hilliard, an educational psychologist and professor of urban education at Georgia State University, served as an expert witness in several landmark federal cases on test validity and bias, including a case that outlawed the use of IQ tests for classifying African American students as mentally retarded. His book Testing African-American Students (Chicago: Third World Press, 1996) explores issues of educational equity in assessment.
  • Alfie Kohn’s book Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1995) argues against the use of rewards in raising children, teaching students, and managing workers. Kohn also looks carefully at how behavioral approaches to learning and external motivation undermine students’ intrinsic motivation to learn. Kohn’s personal website is at http://www.alfiekohn.org/index.html.
  • Journalist Nicholas Lemann’s 1999 book The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux) tells a fascinating story of testing in the United States. His revealing history of the SAT makes clear that American conceptions of meritocracy that lead to unequal and unfair opportunities are neither natural nor inevitable.
  • Elaine and Harry Mensh’s book The IQ Mythology: Class, Race, Gender and Inequality(Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1991) reports a comprehensive, well-documented study of bias in mental testing and in IQ tests in particular.
  • Steven Selden, who teaches and coordinates the program for curriculum theory and development at the University of Maryland, has studied the eugenics movement in American history and traces how this strange mix of racism and science has influenced our conception of human ability. His chronicles this history in his book Inheriting Shame: The Story of Eugenics and Racism in America was published (New York: Teachers College Press, 1999).

Websites to Peruse

  • The Authentic Assessment Toolbox was created by Jon Mueller, a professor of psychology at North Central College, Naperville, Illinois. The Toolbox includes step-by-step help for teachers about creating authentic tasks, rubrics, and standards for measuring and improving student learning.
  • CRESST stands for the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing housed at UCLA. The center conducts research and development that improves assessment and accountability systems and helps schools and districts respond to accountability demands. CRESST’s website includes a page for teachers with articles and assessment tools, as well as a page for parents.
  • The National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest) is an advocacy organization working to end the abuses, misuses, and flaws of standardized testing and ensure that evaluation of students is fair, open, and educationally sound. The center emphasizes eliminating the racial, class, gender, and cultural barriers to equal opportunity posed by standardized tests and preventing their damage to the quality of education.
  • The Coalition for Educational Justice (CEJ), a grassroots, activist organization composed of teachers, students, and parents, claims that high-stakes tests are racist and unfair (See a Rethinking Schools article about CEJ’s anti-racist organizing and CEJ’s website for information on the organization’s current campaign.

Resources for Teaching

  • The Uncovering Student Ideas in Science series (Arlington, VA: NSTA Press, 2007) by Page Keeley, Francis Eberle, and Joyce Tugel provide formative assessments for a range of science topics and concepts. The assessments are administered to students before teaching a particular unit so the teacher knows students’ prior knowledge about a given topic. Teaching suggestions for elementary, middle, and high school science classrooms accompany the assessments.
  • The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project provides reading, writing, and performance assessments that teachers can download from the project’s website. The reading assessments are a series of leveled running records that assess both oral reading fluency and comprehension. Comprehensive rubrics and instructions accompany all of the assessments.
  • Grant Wiggins is the president of Authentic Education in Hopewell, New Jersey, and a nationally recognized expert on assessment. His 1998 book, Educative Assessment: Designing Assessments to Inform and Improve Student Performance (San Francisco: Jossey Bass), reviews the principles of high-quality assessment design and provides guidelines for developing performance tasks that meet rigorous educational standards.
  • Carol Ann Tomlinson (also included in Digging Deeper Chapter 10) and Jay McTighe’s co-authored Integrating Differentiated Instruction and Understanding By Design (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2006). It provides teachers with a guide for developing unit and lesson plans, while adhering to state standards and meeting the unique needs of the learners in their classrooms.
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