You Are What You Assess


I found this near the copy machine yesterday while I was running off end-of-quarter reassessments. It was a wakeup call to the disconnect going on between what I value and what/how I assess in my own classroom.

13 responses to “You Are What You Assess

  1. Are you saying that this is good because it is asking for descriptive answers about relevant topics, something that is so very rare in the classroom? (my work deals with middle school math)

    • My issue was the superficial nature of the assessment — instead of asking students to name the 3 things for being of good speaker, why not have the students give a presentation and give students feedback on how well they meet those 3 things. Instead of asking for the difference between a business letter and a memo, why not have students write examples of each? (Even better if the letter and speeches are for a real audience besides the teacher.)

    • I’m saying this is bad because the students should actually be writing memos, letters, giving presentations, etc, rather than taking a test about them.

  2. That’s a lot of math. Glad I brought my calculator. 😉

  3. What a joke! I am sorry I didn’t see this sooner to put a link to it from my post. What can onee do about this dumbing down of the curriculum?

  4. I have been loving the grant wiggins blog:
    He has been arguing that we need to backwards design from performance, not stuff like this! I liberally borrowed from you and Kelly and now give goal less problems as my assessments!

  5. The formatting for number 1 suggests something quite different from the stated directions to “answer in complete sentences”. May I also point out that numbers 1 and 3 are not questions? Maybe the intention of the directions is that we should answer 2, 4 and 5 with complete sentences, since those are questions, and that 1 and 3 are open format?

    Is it possible that Part 1 deals with important recall facts, and that Part 2 is a richer assessment?

  6. This is interesting. While I agree with the speech and/or business letter/memo recommendation, I also see another area of confusion: the directions. Using complete sentences is a great concept, but the first question leads students to just write one, maybe two, word answers. As a student, I would be confused by this visually. Also, if this is business math, then why is the assessment covering types of letters and presentation information? Maybe I just missed something here.

  7. Hi Frank,

    Thanks so much for posting this. This is an excellent reminder about why it is important to keep assessment authentic. Asking a student to write about the topics outlined in the test is not a good assessment of skill. As you said, why not have students actually give a real presentation of value in which they are selling something? Or, why not have them write a business letter and memo to a local business? (By the way, from my own experience, no one in business writes memo’s anymore).

  8. I’d never guess that was a test. It seems like an outline of a discussion that a student might add notes and comments to.

  9. Pingback: The Spirit of SBG | Action-Reaction

  10. (Sorry this is so delayed!) what makes me especially sad is that this is the test for Chapter 4, “Entrepreneurship”!! That should be the most exciting chapter in a business class. Writing memos is one idea, but How about building and running their own business?? My son is taking Intro to Business next year, hope hope doesn’t see anything like this test. This just crushes me.

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