|KQED Public Radio Press Kit
KQED radio overview, productions, awards and management information
|KQED Press Kit
KQED overview, history, division and management information
|Media Usage Policy
photo & document rights,
Contacts for journalists and reporters only. For information about contacting KQED, please visit the Contact Us page. Please send press releases or news story ideas directly to KQED Radio Programs contacts.
Scott Walton, Executive Director of Communications
Meredith Gandy, Publicist
KQED News Tips
Have a news tip or a breaking news item?
Contact KQED News newsroom: 415.553.2361
|KQED Public Radio to Air Six-Part Series on Statewide Educational Testing|
Pencils Down...Close Your Test Booklet...Turn Your Answer Sheet Over!
San Francisco, CA, March 8, 2001 -- KQED Public Radio 88.5 FM has announced a new series on educational testing beginning Monday, March 12, which will run on consecutive Mondays during the morning KQED Public Radio broadcasts of The California Report. The series, reported by Kathryn Baron, KQED News morning anchor, will focus on the various elements of standardized testing, including its history, development, current status, alternatives and the wide range of opinion on the increasing emphasis on high stakes testing.
California is home to some of the nation's largest school districts, and as a result, educational testing has become a multi-million dollar-a-year industry. Most universities in this country use standardized test scores as one of the most important factors in determining admissions. However, some educators are becoming increasingly vocal in their concerns over standardized testing and its possible negative impact on students.
The series will include conversations with students, parents, teachers, school administrators and test program developers, and include opinions both supporting and opposing mandatory educational testing. Reed Hastings, president of the State Board of Education and Kerry Mazzoni, Secretary of Education for the State of California, will weigh in with the official policies and positions of the state.
Scheduled topics are as follows:
March 12: The Current State of Testing and the Surrounding Controversy.
Education reform and testing seem to go hand-in-hand in the United States. This year a new high school exit exam has been added to the mix in California. While many teachers and students are becoming increasingly frustrated by the state's emphasis on testing, most state education leaders are remaining firm in their belief that testing is a crucial aspect of education reform.
March 19: How Did We Get Here? What Are the Pros and Cons of Testing?
Testing has grown at a rapid-fire pace in recent years, bringing with it a huge proliferation of expensive test preparatory courses. Many politicians argue that testing leads to accountability and improved education; while many educators assert that more testing diminishes classroom creativity and learning. These critics say that too much is riding on too little when assessing progress with standardized tests.
March 26: Follow the Money.
The testing industry is huge. From test publishers, to book stores, to test prep companies, hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake. Under California's new program of awards for high achievement, even schools and teachers now have a vested interest in doing well on standardized tests. Opponents call it "blood money"; policy makers say incentives are key to school accountability.
April 2: Anatomy of a Test.
This segment examines how tests are developed, from the selection of individual questions to grading, in order to show what testing can and cannot do to improve teaching and help children, and to explore claims that tests are racially and culturally biased.
April 9: Alternatives to Standardized Testing.
If not standardized tests, what then? Experts discuss alternative assessments and their usefulness, including a visit to a high school where senior projects carry much more weight than standardized tests.
April 16: Summation and Future.
What works, and what doesn't? What does the future hold for the state testing program in California? Even experts who support testing assert that some changes are necessary, and warn that the backlash against standardized testing, including a threat of lawsuits, will escalate unless the state fixes the testing program.
This series is made possible with funding from the Stuart Foundation, for coverage of important issues in public education reform. For more information on KQED Public Radio 88.5 FM special reports, please visit the accompanying Web site at KQED.org/fm/specials.
KQED Public Broadcasting operates KQED Public Television 9, one of the nation's most-watched public television station during prime-time, and Digital Television 9, Northern California's first digital public television signal; KQED Public Radio, the most-listened-to public radio station in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service (88.5 FM in San Francisco and 89.3 FM in Sacramento); KQED.org, which harnesses the power of the Internet to bring KQED to communities across the Web; and KQED Education Network, which brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and media professionals through workshops, seminars and resources.