Testing and assessment

Testing and assessment worry parents and teachers, although both are integral and critical to good teaching accoridng to Rod Bristow, president, UK and Core at Pearson.
Rod said:” Teachers understand better than anyone that good assessment is part and parcel of good teaching. But 2017 will be a landmark year in how we assess the progress our children are making in schools.
“The government will consult on primary testing, and in secondary schools we will see the first results of the new GCSE, A-level and vocational exams.
“In recent years, attitudes towards testing and assessment have become polarised. The heavy weight placed on exams has led teachers and parents to challenge the amount and the nature of testing. But it would be wise to challenge the weight that is placed on assessment as much as the assessment itself.
“Earlier this year, a survey we commissioned of parents, teachers and headteachers confirmed negative attitudes to testing.
“Parents complain that the main thing teachers care about now is test preparation and test results, while teachers don’t seem to disagree.
“They are concerned that high stakes assessment is distorting the curriculum and leads to pressure to teach to the test, rather than improvements in teaching and learning.
“My own view, in common with most teachers, is that qualifications, assessments and the feedback they provide are important. They are an integral and critical part of good teaching, just as they have always been.
“Over the coming months we will solicit opinions, engage with teachers and promote any resulting new thinking to bring about positive change in how assessment is used for the benefit of young people. We will publish a report on the results of this consultation at a later date”.

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