IAmA HS teacher. This is a list of "suggestions" we got in our mailboxes today on how to dumb-down our classes even more than they already are. I'm so angry I can hardly see straight. AMAA
Of course, as in most workplaces, "suggestions" are requirements-in-waiting. I'm sure if I don't adopt these "new methods" I'll get a bad review come June.
They talk and talk about improving our state test grades, but once the news cameras are gone this is how they really want us to run our classes -make them so easy everyone can pass without doing any work at all. Then they blame the low test scores on "lazy teachers" and the Union. It's beyond sick.
Here's the list:
Consider open book tests using page references
Limit to one word or short phrases
Provide only one choice per letter (eliminate: A and B & All of the Above)
Eliminate: None of the Above
Offer a maximum of 3 choices
Avoid using negatives in questions (Which of these is not...)
Avoid negative or comparative wording (which is NOT, etc.)
Avoid the use of specific determiners (always, never, and no)
Balance the number of true answers to the number of false (Ex: tell the students "there are 5 true and 5 false")
If this is impractical, at least tell the student how many of each (5 true, 7 false)
Eliminate the need to rephrase false statements to make them true
Fill-in & Completion
one word answers or short phrases only
Provide a word bank and/or page number clues
Give the first letter of the answer
Limit the number of fill-in-the-blank responses to 1 per question (Ex: President [blank] was the 1st President of America, his vice president was [blank] is not recommended.)
Weigh the merit of using any essay questions at all
If you must use essay questions:
Allow students to list answers without complete sentences
Provide "answer starters" (provide the first sentence or paragraph from a well-written essay)
Consider providing open book or notebook time
There were several other references to "consider giving open book tests with page references" that I eliminated as redundant. Geez, I wonder what they want all our tests to be from now on, but can't come right out and say it? I could never guess...
EDIT: Thanks for all the great questions guys - I'm headed to bed. I will try to be back on tomorrow to answer some more. If I did not answer your question that means someone else had already asked an identical question that I had responded to, so try searching the thread.
Also, I will not identify my state or district so stop asking. Thanks!