Alternative Authentic Assessments 

Ladson-Billings, G (2005).  From the achievement gap to the education debt: Understanding achievement in U.S. Schools. Educational Researcher, 15 (7), 3-12.


This set of articles was provided by P.L. Thomas in a blog post last year.  His basic argument is that standards may bring equality, but they will do nothing about equity.  When people argue that we need to hold Black and Brown students to the same expectations or standards as middle class and/or White students, it is useful to refer to the absence of proof that higher standards or “accountability” measures have done anything to improve outcomes.  If schools were equitable, students, teachers and parents would be the first to demand and implement high standards:


Hout and Elliott (2011), Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education: Most recent decades of high-stakes accountability reform hasn’t work.


French, Guisbond, and Jehlen (2013), Twenty Years after Education Reform: High-stakes accountability in Massachusetts has not worked.


Loveless (2012), How Well Are American Students Learning?: “Despite all the money and effort devoted to developing the Common Core State Standards—not to mention the simmering controversy over their adoption in several states—the study foresees little to no impact on student learning” (p. 3).


Mathis (2012): Existence and/or quality of standards not positively correlated with NAEP or international benchmark test data; “Further, the wave of high-stakes testing associated with No Child Left Behind (NCLB) has resulted in the ‘dumbing down’ and narrowing of the curriculum” (2 of 5).


Whitehurst (2009), Don’t Forget Curriculum: “The lack of evidence that better content standards enhance student achievement is remarkable given the level of investment in this policy and high hopes attached to it. There is a rational argument to be made for good content standards being a precondition for other desirable reforms, but it is currently just that – an argument.”


Kohn (2010), Debunking the Case for National Standards: CC nothing new, and has never worked before.


Victor Bandeira de Mello, Charles Blankenship, and Don McLaughlin (2009), Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto NAEP Scales: 2005-2007: Why does research from the USDOE not show high-quality standards result in higher NAEP scores?


Horn (2013): “The 2012 NAEP Long-Term Trends are out, and there is a good deal that we may learn from forty years of choking children and teachers with more tests with higher stakes: IT DOESN’T WORK!”


Stop! Don’t opt out. Read this first.

Opt out families are being set up as pawns in this fake “assessment reform” movement. I began to realize this a year ago when our dysfunctional, Broad Superintendent-led school district was suddenly almost eager to help us inform parents of their rights to opt out. It wasn’t until the ESSA passed, and I started learning more about competency-based education, out-of-school time learning, and workforce badging that the bigger picture came into focus.