Baseline testing: Science or fantasy?
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Wrigley, T. (2017) Baseline testing: Science or fantasy? Primary First, (19), pp. 5-7.
There’s nothing hidden in your head The Sorting Hat can’t see, So try me on and I will tell you Where you ought to be. The selection of children into houses at Hogwarts famously involves a magic 'sorting hat'. A fiction, of course, unlike baseline tests in real schools. The Government's baseline tests at the start of Reception produce numerical data, so they have an aura of scientific accuracy. They are anything but. This article will focus particularly on the tests designed by CEM as one of the three approved providers of Reception Baseline Assessment in September 2015. This is not because CEM are incompetent but rather the opposite: they were the most experienced providers. Their test was based on PIPS, sold commercially to hundreds of schools in various countries and refined over more than a decade.