Tiffany Krasley and Danielle White
Authentic Assessment vs. Standardized Testing
Assessments are an important part of the education process. They are essential for measuring student's progress and allow teachers to develop effective lesson plans. Recently there has been controversy surrounding the most valuable way to assess student's knowledge. Standardize testing and authentic assessments are in the forefront of this debate. Standardized testing has been brought back into the public's eye since the No Child Left Behind act has been implemented.
Standardized testing has been a way of assess students for many years. This form of evaluation consists of teachers preparing students for tests by lecturing information to them. The information they learned will be examined by use of typical multiple choice questions where they are to complete the assessment by choosing the correct response or they must complete series of short answer and essay questions. This type of assessment requires the teacher to determine the body of knowledge first, which will become the curriculum. These test based assessments are delivered in order to determine if the acquisition of the knowledge occurred and often follow a statewide curriculum
A more recent form of assessment is known as authentic assessment. This procedure includes observing, recording and otherwise documenting the work that children do and how they do it as a basis for educational decisions that affect those children
There are numerous pros and cons to both sides of assessment in this enraged debate. A number of researchers believe that using Standardized testing makes it easier for districts and states to figure out statewide curriculum, while Gardner has determined "...evidence exists to indicate that assessment material designed for one target audience cannot be transported directly to another cultural setting; there are no purely culture-fair or culture -blind materials"
As future teachers many of us will be able to choose between standardized testing and authentic assessment. However, some teachers will be forced to use standardized testing due to NCLB. Whatever the case may be it will be necessary to have appropriate forms of assessment. We both agree that authentic assessment is an ideal way to evaluate student's abilities; however it is likely that as teachers you will need to use both in your classroom.
Black, J. (1994). Authentic Assessment of the Young Child. New York: Macmillan College Publishing Company.
Gardner, H. (1991). The Alternative to Standardize testing. New York: Basic Books.
Volante, L. (2006). Toward Appropriate Preperation for Standardized Achievement Testing. The Journal of Education , 129-141.
Wiggins, G. (1990). The Case for Authentic Assessment. ERIC Digest , 1-4.
1) In what ways could you as a future teacher balance using both standardized and authentic assessment?
2) Why do you feel NCLB places so much emphasis on standardized testing being the best way to assess education? Do you agree with the initiative behind it?
3) In what ways would it be challenging to use authentic assessment as the only source of evaluation?