Here’s my rant, take it for what it’s worth.
When I started teaching 27 years ago (5th grade), in May we’d give the Stanford Achievement Tests. 4 days, maybe an hour a day and done. The tests would be mailed out, and the results would come back and you’d have a reasonably good idea of how kids stacked up against each other. Never had to leave the class.
Fast forward to 2012 (last year). In September, I’m out of the class for 2 days doing Fountas and Pinell assessments , even though the same kids had them done in May.
Then the reading intervention teachers have to do a Dibels baseline on Oral Reading Fluency, which takes a week. And they take another week at mid-year to do the same, so the kids aren’t getting any instruction.
Then at mid-year, I take another day to do more F & P testing to determine how much growth they’ve had.
In the Spring, there’s the ELA and Math exams which take up a full week.
Then, we teachers, have to score the exams before they get sent out to be given a magic number by State Ed. and if we’re lucky, we get the results by September.
I was out of my class 9.5 days last year for testing and test scoring. Multiply that by 2 or 3 teachers per grade level, factor in sub costs, and lack of instruction, unless your sub is a retired teacher, which is rare.
The Governor wants to extend the school year? Why? So we can give more tests?
I could go on and on about the implementation of APPR and why introducing new standards and evaluations simultaneously is too much for a teacher with kids who need instruction is ridiculous, but I’ll stop.
Our school has become all about test prep and it makes me sad. We have incredible teachers and they are being instructed to teach to the test. In the past week I’ve had at least a dozen e-mails about test prep and it makes me want to puke.
I don’t want to play this game and I won’t.
Kids need to be nurtured and taught based on their own strengths and weaknesses.
Testing them constantly does not reflect their potential, especially when they’re 10 years old. We’re killing creativity with kids and their teachers.
The system is broken, Albany is on Pearson’s payroll, and our kids suffer. And sadly, like lemmings going off the cliff, the majority of school administrators drink the Kool-Aid and follow.
It’s sad kids, it’s sad.