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The Best of Our Knowledge # 937

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-746080.mp3

Albany, NY – DAILY LESSONS:
INSIDE WESTERN GUILFORD HIGH SCHOOL

TESTS, TESTS AND MORE TESTS -

Throughout the country, students are returning to school. One thing they're likely to find has not changed over the summer is the testing requirements.

Educators have witnessed a sharp shift in recent years, emphasizing more about the numbers. State and federal laws require schools to measure nearly everything that can be measured about the performance of students. The source of most of these numbers is testing. And regardless of your feelings about testing, there's no doubt that it's having an impact on students, teachers, administrators, and parents.

This is a new story in our multi-part documentary series called, Daily Lessons: Inside Western Guilford High School. The public school is located in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Emily Hanford reports from WUNC. (7:54)

ARE EDUCATIONAL TESTS INHERENTLY EVIL? -

Well, are they? That's what Dr. Stephen Sireci wants to find out. He's a Professor of Educational Policy, Research, and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Dr. Sireci is attempting to bridge the gap between testing opponents and testing proponents by arguing that under appropriate conditions, education tests can be useful in improving student learning

And he's not just an academic. He's also a parent who's concerned about his own child's education. Dr. Stephen Sireci has been practicing the science of measurement for 20-years. He directs the Center for Educational Assessment in the School of Education and teaches graduate courses in statistics and test development. Sireci's research includes evaluating a variety of test components, capabilities and assessment methods. He serves on several boards including the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards Assessment Certification Advisory Panel. Dr. Sireci co-edits the Journal of Applied Testing Technology and received the School of Education's Outstanding Teacher Award. TBOOK spoke with him about his recent Distinguished Faculty Lecture.

Jim Horne reports. (7:26)

GOING GREEN: STUDENTS BUILD OFF THE GRID ELECTRIC CARS -

Listeners may recall our story in last week's program where the current energy crisis seems to be driving more students into science and engineering. In this report from Europe, the price of fuel is also steering more students to look at a problem generated by electric cars. Although electric vehicles may have better green credentials, there's still a downside. The electricity they use often comes from polluting coal power plants. We found some students at Linchoping University in Sweden who are trying to solve that problem. They've built an electric vehicle that comes with its own wind turbine. TBOOK went for a test ride.

Lars Bevanger reports from Radio Netherlands. (2:37)