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2The Daily Tar HeelTuesday, October 31 i 1989
World aod Nation
est iresuflfe called marrow, biased
By JENNIFER BLACKWELL
The president of the American Fed
eration of Teachers, Albert Shanker,
called Saturday for an end to the pres
ent system of standardized testing be
cause he feels results are misleading.
His statement for the 50th Educa
tional Testing Service (ETS) Invita
tional Conference is'aimed primarily at
six commercialized tests administered
at the elementary and secondary school
levels that represent the overwhelming
share of the market for standardized,
multiple-choice tests. It did not include
the Scholastic Aptitude Test because it
is voluntary and not related to school
Shanker objects to the tests because
they are narrow and only "test your
ability to identify the one best answer,"
said Bella Rosenburg, assistant to the
president. Teachers and school systems
are measured on their ability to raise
their students' scores, so many times
their curriculum is focused only on
teaching the material for these tests,
Kathy Travers, director of the Atlan
tic Center for Research in Education
"(The standardized tests) are not an
adequate way of assessing kids' learn
ing." Under the present system of edu
cation, the "tests are shaping the cur
riculum" and not the other way around,
she said. Most of the time, the short
answer questions are not the most
important things that should be tested.
In addition, the standardized tests
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Gender and Economic
American Women Authors
Women in United States
Women in the South
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can be unfair towards certain groups of
children, she said. They tend to be
biased towards someone who designs
the tests, or white, middle-class chil
dren. Shanker recommends introducing a
learning assessment program into the
The assessments should be directed
more towards writing essays, critical
reading, computing or history,
Rosenburg said. The schools need to
develop more of a performance assess
ment which allows for different inter
pretations and can assess a student's
capabilities in different areas, she said.
One of Shanker's goals is to raise
public awareness about the current
system of testing. The public tends to
look primarily at percentages and scores
without considering what they mean,
The trend from the current system to
the performance assessments will not
be an easy one, Rosenburg said.
Travers said the performance assess
ments are very practical and efficient.
"The assessment should be based on
child development (and) what we want
kids to learn." Children develop at dif
ferent paces, so the assessments should
primarily focus on the teacher's obser
vations of the children's progress
throughout the year in real-life situ
ations, she said.
North Carolina abolished standard
ized testing for first- and second-grade
students this year and is using an as
sessment program for the first time.
"It's an exciting possibility (since)
it's a new way to find out if kids are
learning what we want them to learn,"
Travers said. They also give teachers a
chance to find out how well they are
More people across the country are
beginning to realize the limitations of
standardized testing and are becoming
more interested in developing other
ways of assessment, she said.
"(The new program) requires differ
ent ways of thinking and learning how
to do it, ... but that's what we expect of
teachers," Travers said.
"It's a big change in thinking ... but
it's not harder."
The National Education Association
(NEA) also advocates a shift in the
The lesson for students is that be
coming educated is no more than a
matter of learning to regurgitate the
pabulum they've been force-fed," said
Sharon Robinson, the director of in
struction and professional development
for the NEA at a speech for the Confer
ence. Schools need to design programs
that will measure a child's creativity,
and encourage them to learn, she said.
North Carolina is among the states
that are pioneering this new way of
thinking and assessing, according to
Vanessa Williams, media consultant
for the N.C. Department of Education.
In addition to the program for the first
and second-graders, North Carolina is
also phasing in end-of-course tests
which measure a student's progress in
comparison to the state-taught curricu
lum, she said.
Sen. Marvin Ward (D-Forsyth), vice
chairman of the Senate Education
Committee, does not think the N.C.
General Assembly will abolish stan
dardized testing as a result of Shanker's
"We won't abandon it (standardized
testing) without thinking what we would
use in place of it," he said.
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The University of North Carolinajit Chapel Hill
Invites You to Attend
THUD: TCDuJR ANN0JA0
On Thursday, November 2, 1989
10:00 am -4:00 pm
Great Hall, Carolina Student Union
RECRUITERS FROM ALL 55 GRADUATE AND
PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS WILL BE THERE TO
ANSWER QUESTIONS AND DISTRIBUTE
MEDICAL SCHOOL LAW SCHOOL DENTAL SCHOOL
BUSINESS SCHOOL COMPUTER SCIENCE
DEPARTMENT OF BIOSTATISTICS NEUROBIOLOGY
RADIO TELEVISION AND MOTION PICTURES
AND MUCH MORE!!!
The Alliance of Black Graduate and Professional Students and the
rhetorical attack on Ortega
From Associated Press reports
WASHINGTON The Bush
administration kept up its rhetorical
attack on Nicaraguan President Daniel
Ortega on Monday while "waiting
and watching" to see if he will call off
a 19-month truce with U.S.-backed
Presidential press secretary Mar
tin Fitzwater said Ortega was a target
of mounting pressure from his Latin
American neighbors not to follow
through on his threat to end the cease
fire between his Marxist Sandinista
forces and the Contra rebels.
"The issue pretty much goes back
to President Ortega and the Sandinis
tas in the sense of he's changed his
position a little bit," Fitzwater said.
"We, obviously, are urging that the
cease-fire be maintained."
After startling a hemispheric con
ference on democracy in Costa Rica
by announcing Friday that he would
cancel the cease-fire, Ortega modi
fied his position to say he would
decide the matter Tuesday.
300,000 rally for democracy
BERLIN East Germans dem
onstrated for democracy Monday
night, filling Leipzig streets before a
trip to Moscow by new leader Egon
Krenz for talks with the Soviet bloc's
champion of reform, Mikhail S.
, East German television said about
300,000 people rallied in Leipzig, a
city of 650,000.
Activists at the scene told The
Associated Press by telephone many
of the marchers demanded that the
Communist Party give up its monop
oly on power.
They said the protesters demanded
free elections, freedom to travel and
legalization of opposition groups.
Recognized political parties must be
aligned with the Communist Party
under East Germany's constitution.
Protesting approved by officials
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa
Government-run broadcasting said
Tuesday that peaceful demonstrations
News in Brief
such as the huge anti-apartheid rally
over the weekend have helped ease
political tensions and assisted re
forms. "We thank the people for behav
ing within the norms of democratic
society," Maj. Gen. Herman Stadler,
the police public relations chief, said
of the 70,000-member rally Sunday
at a soccer stadium on the edge of
It was the largest ever anti-government
event, and virtually every
aspect violated security laws.
Court to decide pension's fate
WASHINGTON Federal pro
tection for 30 million American
workers' pensions could be at stake
in a dispute the Supreme Court agreed
to resolve Monday.
The justices said they would de
cide what authority the Pension
Benefit Guaranty Corporation, a
federal agency, had to order employ
ers to revive scraped pension plans.
A federal appeals court limited
such authority by setting aside the
agency's order that LTV Corp. and
its subsidiary, LTV Steel Co., restore
three pension plans with unfunded
liabilities of $2.3 billion.
Government lawyers say the rul
ing, if not overturned, could make
the agency "an open-ended source of
industry bailouts" and spark a finan
cial crisis similar to the one facing
the government's insurance program ,
for the savings and loan industry.
The justices' decision is expected
The pensions case focuses on the
power of the Pension Benefit Guar
anty Corporation, the agency that
protects the pension benefits of the
30 million Americans.
When a pension plan is ended with
insufficient money to satisfy prom
ised benefits, the federal agency
becomes the pension plan's trustee,
taking over its assets and liabilities.
from page 1
ing around the world."
The CIAAC will conduct a mock
debate about CIA issues in front of
Davis Library Friday, McKinley said.
"The CIA has refused to debate us.
Something will happen Monday if the
JT. Dovie. juggler
Photograph bv JE. Pasonault. 1902
!A A l
University Square Chapel Hill
McKinley said he felt UNC should
decide not to allow the CIA to recruit
on campus. "If the CIA decides to re
cruit off campus, that will be a small
victory for us, but it's really the Univer
sity that needs to make the decision.
"I think people should not shy away
from this issue (even though) it's a
government agency because the lives
of people are at stake."
Jones actions were not intended to
draw publicity, McKinley said. "This
is a positive action on Jerry's part. A lot
of us really think it is necessary to do
Earlier this month the Undergradu
ate Court sentenced Jones to definite
probation forbidding him from repre
senting the University in any capacity
because of his participation in an April
1988 CIA protest.
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