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Pencils Down

Table of Contents


by Wayne Au and Melissa Bollow Tempel

Part 1:  Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3 ...

Failing Our Kids—9
Why the testing craze won’t fix our schools
by Kathy Williams and Barbara Miner

Common Questions about Standardized Tests—12
by Asa Hilliard

A Child Is Not A Test Score—21
Assessment is a civil rights issue
by Monty Neill

The Straightjacket of Standardized Tests—31
Where is the standardized test that can measure passion for learning, respect for others, and human empathy?

by Tom McKenna

The Racist History of Testing—34
High-stakes testing and tracking have origins in the eugenics movement
by Alan Stoskopf


Part 2: Testing Kids

Testing Kindergarten—43
You may not believe how many tests kindergartners take—and what they are missing as a result
by Kelly McMahon

Testing Lang—46
by Amy Gutowski

All Work and No Play—47
How educational reforms are hurting our preschoolers
by Sharna Olfman

A Dark Cloud on the U.S. Horizon—51
A teacher's experience in England is a cautionary tale
by Melissa Schieble

Testing Our Sanity—55
A 4th-grade bilingual teacher shares her story of preparing students for mandated tests
by Kelley Dawson Salas

Edwina Left Behind—59
by Soren Wuerth

The Scripted Prescription—62
A cure for childhood
by Peter Campbell

Testing Our Limits—66
by Melissa Bollow Tempel


Part 3: Testing Teaching

Teaching in Dystopia—73
by Wayne Au

Fighting for Electives—78
by Melissa Bollow Tempel

Standards and Testing Attack Multiculturalism—83
by Bill Bigelow

Thinkless Benchmarks—90
by Amy Gutowski

About Those Tests I Gave You—94
by Ruth Ann Dandrea

A Teacher Pushed to the Edge—96
by Sara Knopp

Playing Smart—101
by Wayne Au

Support That Can't Support—106
My Induction Program Experience
by Elaine Engel Keswick

Coming Soon to Your Favorite Credential Program: National Exit Exams—110
by Ann Berlak

Responses to 'Coming Soon to Your Favorite Credential Program: National Exit Exams'—117

Part 4: Testing the Tests

Neither Fair nor Accurate—127
by Wayne Au

A Test Scorer's Lament—132
Scenes from the mad, mad, mad world of testing companies
by Todd Farley

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Test Scorer—135
by Dan Dimaggio

Fuzzy Math—145
by Meredith Jacks

Apologies to Sandra Cisneros—148
How ETS' computer-based writing assignment misses the mark
by Maja Wilson

On White Preference—156
by Jay Rosner

Testing What Matters Least—158
What we learned when we took the Praxis Reading Specialist Test
by Maika Yeigh, Andie Cunningham, and Ruth Shagoury


Part 5: Resisting and Responding to High-Stakes Testing

Responding to Test-Driven Reform—167
by Barbara Miner

High-Stakes Harm—169
by Linda Christensen and Wayne Au

An Untold Story of Resistance—175
African American educators and IQ testing in the 1920s and 1930s
by Alan Stoskopf

Teaching Is Not Testing—183
A community-led struggle to find an alternative to California's graduation exam
by Tina (aka Lisa) Gray-Garcia

None of the Above—189
Defiant teachers show they have had enough of high-stakes testing
by Amalia Oulahan

Taking a Stand for Learning—194
Chicago teachers speak out against a "really bad test"
by Gregorie Michie

Testing, Tracking, and Toeing the Line—197
by Bill Bigelow

United Opt Out—210
by Peggy Robertson

Opt-Out Template—213

Part 6: Beyond High-Stakes Standardized Testing

Hallmarks of Good Assesssment—217
by The Editors of Rethinking Schools

Alternatives to Standardized Tests—218
by Monty Neill and Bob Peterson

A Better System for Evaluating Schools and Students—229
by FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing

Multiple Measures—231
A definition and examples from the United States and other nations
by Monty Neill

Their Report Card—and Ours—235
How do we know if schools are doing a good job? And how can we make them better?
by Portland Area Rethinking Schools

Portfolios and Basketball—241
by Linda Christensen

Another Path is Possible—248
by Gregory Michie

Steady Work—255
Finland builds a strong teaching and learning system
by Linda Darling-Hammond

Teaching in Dangerous Times—263
Culturally relevant ways to assess teachers
by Gloria Ladson-Billings

Teachers Teaching Teachers—271
by Linda Christensen

A Collaborative Approach to Teacher Evaluation—278
by Stan Karp


Author Bios285


Pencils Down
Rethinking High Stakes Testing and Accountability in Public Schools

edited by Wayne Au , Melissa Bollow Tempel


ISBN 9780942961515

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