Ed D. Hirsch, Jr opines in the New York Times today teaching to the test is just fine, as long as the tests are aligned with explicit grade-by-grade content standards as opposed to the typically random questions:
We do not need to abandon either the principle of accountability or the fill-in-the-bubble format. Rather we need to move from teaching to the test to tests that are worth teaching to.
It’s an interesting premise: it’s become de rigeur for educators to complain that their time is spent drilling kids on pointless exercises in preparation for the endless stream of state assessments. What if the assessments were a teaching heuristic instead of a punitive measure of a school’s efficacy?