Testing, testing, and more testing.

As I looked at my school’s online calendar today I couldn’t resist snapping a screen shot:

It reminded me of a post I wrote last May on assessment overload and truly epitomizes how much testing our students are put through. Depending on a students given course load and grade he or she could be in for any combination of these tests, all for different reasons. AP tests the culmination of a rigorous year, college credit on the line; MAP testing to assess yearly progress in math and reading; and NECAP tests in science to assess achievement of the science standards.

Recognizing the importance of assessment I also wanted to bring recognition to the hard work, brain busting effort (hopefully) that our students get put through as the standardized test season begins. How then should that impact instruction? What should teachers do to help make this time easier?

Even as I write, I realize that my own frustration at students skipping my classes to go home after completing AP testing may be unjustly directed. It’s often necessary to stop for a minute to see a situation from the other side. What state would my brain be in after a 4 hour test? Perhaps an afternoon to rejuvenate and rest is just what they needed. Let’s all try to keep perspective.

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3 responses

  1. As I was growing up, I remember hearing of 4 hour exams to get your Contractor’s license. I thought that was intense even for a knowledgeable adult. But our middle school students sit for 7 straight days, four hours per day, taking the various California State Tests. When they are done, they are fried. I just don’t see the value of taking that heavy of a test load.

  2. I gives a snapshot; a window into the mind of the student. It gives a very very limited view, and I don’t think it measures exactly what we want to see develop in a student. It has gotten out of control. Ironically, it is precisely that they want to control every aspect of the learning environment, that they have implemented a very two-dimensional system of academic measurement. It is easy to administer, and easy to read. Simple as that. The human species cannot be assessed and evaluated the same way we manufacture a Ford Pick-Up Truck.

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