Conservative Index Add
pagetitle

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017Last Update: Thursday, May 4th, 2017 02:03:55 PM

How Will Oklahomas K-12 Students Be Tested?

By: Linda Murphy

Student testing is in transition across America. We typically think of students taking tests so we can see if they have learned the facts, knowledge, information and academic skills expected at their grade level. Today, however, there are major efforts being made to test more...... much more. Before we go there and jump on "the newest bandwagon" we need to take a very close look. We should step back and ask "Why are we testing students? What do we need to know about students and why do we need to know it?"

There is great anxiety growing among teachers and parents in several states because testing is being expanded into what is called "Soft Skills" or "Social and Emotional Learning" (SEL). This new testing is being added to tests required by some states as part of their accountability system. SEL testing can also be embedded into curriculum sold directly to schools in states where SEL testing isn't required.

SEL testing is frequently found in programs delivered by computer software or online but can also be found in pencil and paper tests or in simple surveys printed on paper. Social and Emotional Learning involves psychological or behavioral performance, which is classified in the "Affective Domain" and includes emotions, feelings, attitudes, values and beliefs.

The goals used in traditional teaching and testing are from the "Cognitive Domain" including mental skills used in academics. For years, teachers have been writing and teaching traditional lessons focused on skills in the Cognitive Domain.

In my college courses I learned to write Individualized Education Plans, IEPs, for students with special learning needs. Students with IEPs had individualized traditional cognitive or academic goals but also sometimes had needs for "Affective" or behavioral goals and at times they needed goals from the Psycho-motor Domain or manual/physical skills. (These three domains are from "Bloom's Taxonomy" classification system.)

Never....ever... would I (nor any professional educator) write plans, test or train a student in the Affective or Psycho-motor skills without parental consent. It is illegal and potentially dangerous to work with students in the psychological area of emotions, feelings, attitudes, values and beliefs except with parental consent and a certified professional administering the test and interpretation of test results. The student's test results and IEP are called "confidential files" and are kept in locked cabinets. I always guard the key for security. But now under President Obama's administration, states have created State Longitudinal Data Systems where even confidential student information can be stored if state officials allow it.

We are entering an era of unprecedented efforts to deliver testing and training for students via technology. Instead of being certain that a certified professional educator who knows and cares about your child will be in the classroom making a final decision about what your child is given, we now must consider that more and more teachers are being moved to the side while technology delivered programs take center stage.

In some programs critical decisions that affect your child's future are being made without the classroom teacher's input. In those situations the teacher may not have an opportunity to see or evaluate what their students will see and be learning while sitting at the computer.

Some of the newest technology is delivering "adaptive" curriculum and assessments containing SEL items. These computer delivered programs will "adapt" and become individualized to each student's performance level as they respond to tasks on the screen. Other new interactive programs are designed like games where the student responds to a screen display and their performance is recorded. There are games being designed to score both psychological and academic skills for a "fun" and often undetected form of testing.

As I said in the opening...... Before we go there and join "the newest bandwagon" we need to take a very close look. We should step back and ask: Why are we testing students? What do we need to know about students and why do we need to know it?

This is just the tip of the iceberg as we consider challenges in choosing the best direction for Oklahoma Public Schools and we strive to provide unlimited opportunities for all students to learn to the best of their individual ability in a safe school environment.

About Linda Murphy

Linda Murphy was a candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction and was appointed by Governor Keating as Secretary of Education. Murphy was appointed as Deputy Commissioner of Labor, Administrator of the Eastern Oklahoma Department of Labor, Member of the State Job Training Coordinating Council, and the Governor's School-to-Work Council. She also served on the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women. She may be contacted at: lindalearn1

Other Articles By Linda Murphy

Supt. Hofmeisters Plan Opposes President Trumps Call for Local Control

Supt. Hofmeisters Plan Opposes President Trumps Call for Local Control...

U.S. Department of Education - Its Time to Kill it

If we have ever had the opportunity to kill the U.S. Department of Education the time is now. We...

Hillary Clintons Education Plan

...

Changes in Tulsa Public School Curriculum:

As teachers prepare to return to their classrooms, those in Tulsa Public Schools are learning that...

How Will Oklahomas K-12 Students Be Tested?

...

The Growing Federal Education Bureaucracy

Federal government bureaucrats now have new ways to be involved in every aspect of the life of a...

Stopping President Obamas Federally Funded Curriculum and the Expansion of Government Control

President Obama said, If you like your school with local control you can keep your school with...

Other Constitution Columnists

Bill Graves

Historical and Theological Foundations of Law
Noted Constitutional authority John Eidsmoe has written a legal classic on the origins and...

Theodore King

Federal Page for Spring 2017
Mullin Prepares to Break His Three-terms Pledge In 2012, Markwayne Mullin was the best speaker of...

Steve Byas

Cole, Inhofe, Lankford, Russell, Wrong on Syria
It was quite discouraging. Following the decision by President Trump to bomb a country Syria that...

Richard Engle

You Cant Get There from Here
Many of my friends know that from time to time I drive with Uber. I do it mostly late at night on...

Linda Murphy

Supt. Hofmeisters Plan Opposes President Trumps Call for Local Control
Supt. Hofmeisters Plan Opposes President Trumps Call for Local ControlHofmeister has dug in her...

Rep. Jason Murphey

Big Government Groundhog Day
State officials are continuing to consider an array of tax and fee increases. I instinctively know...

John Michener

Fighting Federal Tyranny Requires Enforcing State Sovereignty
Every branch of the federal government is involved in unconstitutional activity. Congress passes...

David Deming

Why the Second Amendment Protects AR-15s
For decades the Federal Judiciary has been trying to interpret the Second Amendment out of the...

Charlie Meadows

Have Republican Lawmakers Been Suckered into the Agenda of the Education Industry?
Have Republican Lawmakers Been Suckered into the Agenda of the Education Industry?To be sure, some...

Brandon Dutcher

Oklahomans Say Teachers Should Be Allowed to Vote on Unions
Getting public policy right in the area of education includes respecting teachers and freeing them...

Andrew K. Boyle

HB 1757, SB 691 and the Lot vs Millennials (advantage young people)
We certainly are living in interesting times, in the mode of that famous Chinese curse sort of ways....

In The News

Constitution Staff

Gov. Fallin Signs REAL ID Compliance Bill
On March 2, Governor Mary Fallin signed House Bill 1845, the REAL ID compliance legislation. The new...

Constitution Staff

Legislature Loses Conservative Champion in David Brumbaugh
Oklahomans are mourning the passing of State Rep. David Brumbuagh (R-Broken Arrow), one of the great...

Constitution Staff

Special Elections to Fill Legislative Seats
Special Elections to fill vacancies in the Oklahoma Legislature are in progress. The vacancies are...

Constitution Staff

2018 Race for Governor
Gov. Mary Fallin, who is now entering the final two years of her second term, is prohibited by term...

Constitution Staff

Bills Move Through Oklahoma Legislature
With the close of the legislative session approaching on May 26, various bills are being considered...

Constitution Columnists

Bill Graves

Historical and Theological Foundations of Law
Noted Constitutional authority John Eidsmoe has written a legal classic on the origins and...

Theodore King

Federal Page for Spring 2017
Mullin Prepares to Break His Three-terms Pledge In 2012, Markwayne Mullin was the best speaker of...

Steve Byas

Cole, Inhofe, Lankford, Russell, Wrong on Syria
It was quite discouraging. Following the decision by President Trump to bomb a country Syria that...

© 2001 - 2009 The Oklahoma Constitution, all rights reserved.
Contact the Oklahoma Constitution by calling 405-366-1125 or emailing okconsti@aol.com
Content Management System (CMS) provided by WebTeks2010.com - Guthrie, Oklahoma.