My Back Pages: How Teachers See Testing


BackpagesWhat were teacher attitudes on testing back in the day? In an EL article from November 1966, Evelyn W. Sharp reported on a survey of over 200 classroom teachers in Florida, which asked several questions regarding their views on assessment.

Teachers surveyed commonly agreed that standardized testing was valuable for identifying student strengths and weaknesses. However, teachers were skeptical of standardized tests as lone measures, because “there is much learning taking place which standardized testing cannot measure.” Many criticized the culture of worshiping tests as the final word in the teaching-learning process. One teacher responded, “tests are worshipped like demigods…with grave injustices to children.” Many teachers also agreed that an overemphasis on tests is harmful to their mental health.

How have teacher opinions on assessment changed or stayed the same?

Submitted by David Snyder, a reference librarian in ASCD’s Information Resource Center. My Back Pages also appears in the ASCD Express newsletter.