Test Scores and Life Outcomes


(Guest post by Greg Forster)

I have a post at OCPAThink on the lack of alignment between short-term test score changes and long-term life outcomes:

As an education researcher, I feel a little like an engineer hearing that the coefficient of gravitation has been cut in half as an energy-saving measure, or a mathematician getting the news that for the sake of simplicity, Pi will henceforth be rounded down to 3. We’ve spent a generation building our discipline—and education reform ideas—on the assumption that rising scores mean better education. If they don’t, we have to rethink everything.

We’ll have to look beyond tests for the next accountability – school choice and other forms of local control.

We won’t set high standards with the narrow tool of test scores alone. It takes a broad vision to know what education is, and qualitative human judgment to know when schools are providing it. The future of school accountability is the people at large—not a specialist expert class—empowered to use their full human judgment to evaluate schools that they know personally. In other words, school choice and other forms of local control.

The post contains tons of links to Jay’s writing on this, natch!

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