What gets tested gets taught. Ohio is trying to decide whether to test science and social studies every year, writes Aaron Churchill. It would prevent narrowing the curriculum to only math and English language arts. But teachers and parents already are complaining there’s too much testing.
Core Knowledge Blog’s Lisa Hansel proposes a solution: Test students’ ability to read and comprehend science and social studies texts on topics they’ve been taught.
Reading comprehension tests contain a random smattering of “common” topics that “inevitably privilege students who have acquired broad knowledge (usually at home),” Hansel writes.
Unlike English language arts standards, science and social studies standards usually specify some core content to be taught in each grade. All students will have a chance to learn the background knowledge and vocabulary necessary to understand the readings. “For the cost and time of just one test, we would have a decent gauge of three subjects,” writes Hansel.
It makes sense to me.