The Wizard of Oz and educational assessment

The FCAT editorial cartoon leaves out a key player in Dorothy’s FCAT quest — the Wizard of Oz.

You’ll remember that he was behind the curtain in a little room turning the dials and knobs to create the illusions and sounds of Oz.

Lots of groups and individuals are behind the curtain making FCAT (and No Child Left Behind) decisions.

  • Politicians – many of whom know more about re-election than learning assessment.
  • Ed testing companies that are eager to promote and sell their ready-to-go tests. Too often we get tests that aren’t designed to assess what actually is being taught.
  • Schools, teachers, students, parents and politicians should be held accountable for learning.

But too often that’s too complicated for the wizards behind the curtain. So we assess learning with pencil and paper testing

In a high pressure testing setting. Dorothy would be tapping her ruby slippers to go home.

Julie Dodd from her iPhone

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