Testing Season is Here

©Sebring High School, Sebring, FL

This sign and those like it are now popping up all over the country. Why are these signs appearing? Well, because students are learning this.

©2002 The Boston Globe

We as educators know that this is not the case. Testing students all the time is not teaching the students anything except to dread state testing. At our school our students take notes in our morning meetings. They take these notes to practice note taking skills as well as a way of daily communication to their parents. Today I received the email from a certain student and she had this written in there:

“State testing this week. :(“

I was concerned. If a 5th grade student has this outlook to the state tests, what are we telling them? This student will do GREAT on the testing, but she doesn’t care for them. I know that students and teachers have these feelings. What can we do to change students attitudes toward the testing?

I think that every teacher would love to be able to throw the tests out the window and not look back, but that is not going to happen. I know that some teachers really lighten up the work that they expect students to do while they are testing. I have heard principals tell teachers that are not testing to make sure kids have it easy in their classes so that they are not too stressed.

I understand the work load needing to be lessened.. . . .well. . .. a little. We do want

©The University of Tennessee - Chattanooga

students to focus on their assessments and do their best. For some schools is this the climax of the school year. Everything they have been doing during the year was focused on these assessments. I however, don’t feel that should be the point of school.

If I had my dream, state testing would be abolished. The government doesn’t know what they are doing by making students take these assessments and comparing them to the people who sat in those seats last year. Many things need to improve with state testing. Until then, many blessings and hopeful sleep-filled nights as your students take these tests.


photos taken from http://highmail.highlands.k12.fl.us/~shs/ and http://www.utc.edu/Academic/Music/Enroll/php

About Anthony Purcell

I am Anthony Purcell and I am currently teaching math in Oklahoma.
This entry was posted in Education, Testing. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Testing Season is Here

  1. Pat says:

    What bothers me is that state testing seems to be the sole determination as to whether a student is making adequate progress. My self contained students were required to take the tests even though they were not receiving a state diploma (passing this test is required to receive a state diploma) and they knew they were not able to pass the test. All this test did was undermine all the self concept building I had worked on throughout the year. My students were not able to read the tests so usually bubbled in designs on the answer sheet. My main goal during testing time was to reward my students for good behavior in the testing site (boredom results in misbehavior). They also misbehaved as a defense mechanism so other students wouldn’t think they were stupid because they couldn’t read the test! I think pre and post tests would give us so much more information than these types of tests for my students. But of course, that would make too much sense! There has to be a better way!

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