Assessment distorts the curriculum and it’s about to get worse 

Filling the pail

John Bush recently shared an article that he wrote for his organisation, Social Ventures Australia. It’s worth reading and I agree with much of it. Bush is a good thinker who is involved in bringing the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) toolkit and approach to research to Australia. However, the piece reminded me of a pressing problem we have with assessment.

There is much to say about assessment. Working in schools, it is clear that any kind of high stakes assessment will drive the curriculum. In many cases, this is benign. I believe that the UK phonics check, for instance, has helped school to focus on this key set of skills. But other tests are more dangerous. This is when the assessment is of a complex performance built on many interacting elements. The ultimate pathway to success is to train all of these element; a difficult and time consuming process. Many…

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