PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We’ve all taken multiple choice tests and while they’re useful for teachers in efficiently measuring knowledge and skills, they’re usually not satisfying for students or teachers.

In a recent Alliance for Excellent Education policy brief, it’s reported that sixteen states which together educate nearly half of the nation’s schoolchildren, use tests that are essentially multiple choice.

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Short answer tests are narrow and can’t measure how well students can formulate their own ideas, approach a problem, write effectively, collaborate and think critically. Assessment of deeper learnings clearly is indicated.

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With technology advances, a wider range of student abilities can be measured and the US Department of Education has provided $331 million to two consortia of states to develop comprehensive assessment systems to measure student achievement against the Common Core State Standards.

Portfolios and student performance measures are being utilized in many schools, putting policy into practice, acknowledging that broader competencies are required in a more complex world.

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Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio