A Practical book about assessment and the limited benefit of testing

Instruction That Measures Up, a 2009 book by measurement expert James Popham, offers both a practical look at testing and assessment from an instructional point of view — and some sharply pointed observations about the limits of testing in offering students useful feedback or making judgments about teaching effectiveness.

So says popular blogger and TLN member Ken Bernstein in this new review at the TLN Teacher Voices blog:

This is a book Popham intends to be of practical use to teachers. One may not agree with all his formulations — this reader had some questions about the approach Popham offers as the structure of an effective lesson. Nevertheless there is a great deal of insight and practical advice. If nothing else, readers should come away with a deepened understanding of the terminology, and of the appropriate uses and inappropriate misuses of assessment of various kinds.

Bernstein offers several favorite quotes from Popham, including: “…few educators, though seemingly awash in an ocean of test-based accountability, currently recognize how few accountability tests are even mildly sensitive to the quality of a teacher’s instruction.”

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