Larkin's article includes a news clip from HLN, where Sam Chaltain, suggests that we need to think about alternative forms of assessment instead of the one-size-fits all, standardized tests. He suggest those assessments should be personalized so that the assessment reflects where a learner is and then guides that learner to where they want to be. For this to happen, educators need to analyze the markers for success and then form assessments around those markers.
As I read the article and watched the video it all reminded me of an Edutopia article from many years back (2007 to be exact) where they quoted an Indian Educator who stated, "Here (in India), when we want the elephant to grow, we feed the elephant. We don't weigh the elephant." "Don't Weigh the Elephant -- Feed the Elephant: Feedback Is Key in Assessment" is essentially about teaching students that they are the master of their domain. It focuses on a study done by Carol Dweck, Lisa Blackwell, and Kali Trzesniewski. Their research found that when students learned to appreciate their brains and see them for the malleable tools they are, then those students could become more intelligent. They call this having a growth-mindset. When educators encouraged students to have that growth mindset, the students achieved at higher levels, their self-esteem grew, and they were more motivated to learn.
A couple of years ago I was introduced (not literally) to Carol Dweck's and read her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. I found it to be a great read for teachers, parents, and administrators filled with recommendations for how to help students develop and keep a growth-mindset and be life-long, self-directed learners. I have to say, no test is going to teach that.
As you think about the barrage of tests that we bombard students with, what is the fix? How do you "feed the elephant"?