Should we scrap standardised testing?

Filling the pail

From 1997 to 2010, I taught in the UK. During this period, my 16-year old students completed GCSE exams and my 18-year-old students sat A-Levels. In fact, due to the modular nature of these exams at the time, students sat them continuously through a period spanning the ages 15 to 18. Until 2008, 14-year-old students also completed SAT exams in English, maths and science until they were abolished in 2008, much to my personal frustration. I arrived in Australia at the same time as NAPLAN literacy and numeracy testing was being rolled-out. My U.K. experience meant that the idea of such tests was as familiar to me as it was apparently strange to some of my Australian colleagues.

My teaching career has therefore been one of 20 years of standardised testing. In this time, I have worked in schools that gained high scores and I have worked in schools that…

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