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TAAS, STAR, and art..........


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Oct 09 2000 - 20:40:55 PDT

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526

>> Not to be nickpicky but I'm really interested in what you're saying. How are
>> you developing a format that takes advantage of TAAS? Will you be more
>> explicit about this please?

> First, I researched the TAAS and standardized tests in general. Research
> indicates that students score better on tests when they know the format.
> Knowing the format is almost as important as knowing the content! Armed with
> this bit of knowledge, I then carefully duplicated the "look" of the TAAS
> pages (e.g., font size, double columns, number of questions, bubbling of
> answers). The hardest part is writing the multiple choice responses because
> a good standardized test will include one answer that is absolutely right,
> one that is absolutely wrong, one that is a foil, and one that could go
> either way.
> The significant differences in my "tests" are that they (a) provide factual
> information about an artist or artwork and (b) ask questions that require
> students to read the material AND interpret a work of art.

Oh, okay. So if I'm reading your post right, you are only "testing" them on
art history and/or vocab/artists/etc. BASICALLY. Am I assuming correctly
that you do not use these tests as a matter of grading..or do you? It would
seem to me that these testings would take up much time in your art classes
and cut down quite a bit on process time for studio work. With all the other
testing being done in their other classes for preparation, I wonder if this
might be overkill. I understand your reasoning, don't get me wrong, but I
just wonder if I would want to turn my art class into a testing ground.
These kids need somewhere to "breathe", to imagine, to create without
filling in bubble sheets.

I'm going to be really interested in seeing what comes to pass with NY
testing art standards in the near future as mentioned in a recent post. I'm
thinking that testing of art standards WILL eventually come to us all but
still it's a long way off IMHO. Now we get into an interesting thread of
discovering who among us on this listserv gives art tests to their students.
I don't. I've discovered in my classes that tests do not make them learn as
much as enthusiasm and discussion does. Others of you might disagree. I
guess we have to work with what makes the most sense to us
in most things.

I am still pondering your post, Pam. There is food for thought.