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Standardized Tests

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NEWS
March 9, 2012
Unfortunately, it appears that for some time Baltimore City school personnel have been setting an example for students that cheating is acceptable as long as you don't get caught ("Schools keep eye on testing," March 5). Here's my suggestion for eliminating this problem during the city schools' annual standardized achievement testing period: Arrangements should be made to ensure that the students being tested are the only individuals who touch the test booklets or answer cards.
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NEWS
By Robert Maranto | September 4, 2013
Just weeks after the U.S. House Republicans made a purely symbolic move to dismantle No Child Left Behind, the law that forces schools to report standardized test scores, standardized testing season hit our household. By testing season I don't mean the time when kids actually take the tests - that was four months back. Rather, now that one school season is long gone, we start a new season with the progress report on how the old school year really went academically. I say how the school year really went because with grades, you just never can tell.
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NEWS
December 17, 2012
Op-ed contributor Carlene Buccino's argument against the objectivity of SAT scores is compelling but flawed ("The best test scores money can buy," Dec. 13). There is a robust literature that supports the use of SAT scores in the admissions process. Generally, institutions of higher learning are well-versed regarding literature that suggests the cultural, socio-economic and gender biases of the SAT and other standardized exams. In fact, some institutions tier the SAT bottom-line in adherence to the literature.
NEWS
December 19, 2012
The new system for measuring school progress announced by the Maryland State Department of Education this week is being touted as a great advance over the one it replaces. State officials say the School Progress Index aims to cut in half the percentage of students who fail to score proficient or better on standardized tests by 2017 and that it sets more realistic targets for what schools can achieve. Yet its complexity and the lack of transparency regarding how school performance is calculated are enough to raise questions about whether the new system really represents much of an improvement over the old. Maryland developed the School Progress Index in order to receive a federal waiver from the requirements of the Bush-era federal No Child Left Behind Act. Under that law, schools were judged to be failing if they didn't make "adequate yearly progress" in boosting test scores in reading and math, leading toward 100 percent proficiency in both subjects by 2014.
NEWS
By Shaun Johnson | August 25, 2011
Here's an update to a clichéd philosophical question: If a test is scheduled and no one is around to take it, will this test matter? The new school year for many public school teachers begins weeks before students arrive. Educators attend hours of workshops to discover that the newest acronym is simply a substitute for an older one. More importantly, piles of test data are pored over to both assess the previous year and to fully appreciate what is to come with a new crop of students.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | June 15, 2010
Baltimore City's first- and second-graders improved for the sixth year in a row on a standardized test of math and reading, with students scoring better than 50 percent of their peers around the country, school officials said Tuesday. Scores on the Stanford 10 have increased from the 38th percentile in first-grade reading in 2004 to the 55th percentile this year. Math scores rose during the same period from the 44th percentile to the 67th percentile in first grade. In second grade, scores rose from the 36th percentile to the 51st percentile in reading and from the 40th to the 61st percentile in math.
NEWS
By Mary Maushard and Mary Maushard,Sun Staff Writer | May 24, 1995
In a break with state education policy, Baltimore County schools will continue to give standardized tests to third-, fifth- and eighth-grade students next year.Beginning in the 1996-97 school year, county schools will give the tests in second, fourth and sixth grades, administrators told the county school board at a meeting last night.The state Department of Education, seeking to reduce the amount of testing, announced recently that those standardized tests, the California Test of Basic Skills, would not be required next year.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | November 15, 1993
The Educational Testing Service, creators of the examinations that give Americans the jitters -- the SAT, GRE, PSAT -- today takes a major step toward eliminating the standardized paper and pencil test with the introduction of a new computerized version of the Graduate Record Examination.Though paper and pencil will remain an option for now, by the 1996-1997 school year, all 400,000 students who take the GRE each year for admission to graduate school will do it on a computer.Instead of sitting in a room with hundreds of people on one of five annual test dates, students will be able to go to a computer center and take the GRE on any of several days during the week, for a total of more than 150 days a year.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF | January 31, 1996
Concerned that immediate needs of students may not be met, some Anne Arundel County school board members said they will consider changing the superintendent's budget proposal to put more resources into classrooms."
NEWS
June 26, 2005
Last week's question: Maryland has set standards that each school must meet to demonstrate "adequate yearly progress" on state math and reading tests, as required under the federal No Child Left Behind legislation. Last week, schools across the state found out whether enough of their students passed standardized tests to meet the standards. Last year, two Harford County middle schools - Edgewood and Aberdeen - did not meet the standards. Many educators say the tests' role to determine progress may be exaggerated and that other factors, such as grade-point average, should be used to judge improvement.
NEWS
December 17, 2012
Op-ed contributor Carlene Buccino's argument against the objectivity of SAT scores is compelling but flawed ("The best test scores money can buy," Dec. 13). There is a robust literature that supports the use of SAT scores in the admissions process. Generally, institutions of higher learning are well-versed regarding literature that suggests the cultural, socio-economic and gender biases of the SAT and other standardized exams. In fact, some institutions tier the SAT bottom-line in adherence to the literature.
NEWS
April 29, 2012
That schools CEO Andrés Alonso deplores the lavish renovation at headquarters only after the work has been done says a lot about why he should go. Mr. Alonso has abused having a driver, and he brings in outside auditors when standardized tests are given because he doesn't trust the people who work for him, He and the mayor were pictured with President Obama when he signed a wavier to do away with certain requirements of the No Child Left...
NEWS
March 13, 2012
This week, schools in Baltimore City and across Maryland are administering the state standardized tests in reading and math for students in the third through eighth grades. There's a lot riding on the outcome. Among other things, the test results will help determine how much students are learning, whether the schools they attend are improving or falling behind, and perhaps even whether some individual teachers and principals keep their jobs. The test will also play a significant role in decisions about which schools are allowed to remain open and what their level of funding will be. With so much at stake, it's vital to ensure the reliability of the test results.
NEWS
March 9, 2012
Unfortunately, it appears that for some time Baltimore City school personnel have been setting an example for students that cheating is acceptable as long as you don't get caught ("Schools keep eye on testing," March 5). Here's my suggestion for eliminating this problem during the city schools' annual standardized achievement testing period: Arrangements should be made to ensure that the students being tested are the only individuals who touch the test booklets or answer cards.
NEWS
By Shaun Johnson | August 25, 2011
Here's an update to a clichéd philosophical question: If a test is scheduled and no one is around to take it, will this test matter? The new school year for many public school teachers begins weeks before students arrive. Educators attend hours of workshops to discover that the newest acronym is simply a substitute for an older one. More importantly, piles of test data are pored over to both assess the previous year and to fully appreciate what is to come with a new crop of students.
NEWS
July 10, 2011
It really should come as no surprise that cheating on standardized tests is becoming more prevalent. The schools increasingly are tying almost every kind of evaluation to these scores, including teacher performance evaluations. Teachers and administrators have joined their students in the growing anxiety over these high-stakes tests and their implied meaning. I use the term "implied meaning" because what these scores seem to imply is in fact not true at all. What schools are seeking in rising test score numbers is an assurance that there are real gains in student learning.
NEWS
March 13, 2012
This week, schools in Baltimore City and across Maryland are administering the state standardized tests in reading and math for students in the third through eighth grades. There's a lot riding on the outcome. Among other things, the test results will help determine how much students are learning, whether the schools they attend are improving or falling behind, and perhaps even whether some individual teachers and principals keep their jobs. The test will also play a significant role in decisions about which schools are allowed to remain open and what their level of funding will be. With so much at stake, it's vital to ensure the reliability of the test results.
NEWS
June 23, 2011
As a retired educator with 35 years of service, I can only describe the job evaluation criteria outlined by the Maryland Council for Educator Effectiveness with 50 percent of a teacher's rating to be based on student performance as absolutely asinine ("Md. to rate teachers on student progress," June 21). The evaluation system approved by the council contains little in the way of uniform standards. For example, teachers who are assigned to schools located in poor areas and dealing with students living with high unemployment rates, broken homes, youth gangs and many other unfavorable conditions which would naturally breed a nonchalant attitude toward the value of an education, will likely result in students who score poorly on standardized tests.
NEWS
October 11, 2010
I applaud The Sun's coverage of the work being done by Dr. Maria Brown and other child advocates ("Pediatrician has prescription to fight obesity," Oct. 7). The challenge Dr. Brown presents, that "If this is going to succeed ... all members of the community are going to have to pull together," is right on the money. That everyone should include our schools, and currently, that's not the case for many Baltimore County public school students. In fact, even though studies are coming out now that show that physically fit children actually perform better on standardized tests, recess time for kids has been cut in many public schools.
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