Uneducated Guesses: Using Evidence to Uncover Misguided Education Policies
For better or worse, testing—formative, evaluative, and diagnostic—is entrenched in our K-12 education system. But policies around assessment haven’t all been evidence-based. In this book, Howard Wainer, a long-time research scientist at ETS and statistics professor at Wharton, illustrates this point through a series of rebuttals to opinions he sees as ubiquitous in today’s conversations around testing. In one chapter, he explains why the SAT should not be made optional. In another, he gauges the practicality of using value-added models (VAM) as components of teacher evaluations—concluding that available data render VAM implementation premature. While many of Wainer’s arguments dive far into the weeds of testing, his overall message rings clear and true for much more than assessment: Policy that is formed without full analysis of the breadth of data available on a topic is policy that will fail.
Howard Wainer, Uneducated Guesses: Using Evidence to Uncover Misguided Education Policies, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011).
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