Testing.... Out of Control

What is it with the end of the year?  It is wild and crazy with all kinds of activities.  One of which is the state testing. We took our big state test  for GA a week ago (CRCT), and just like every year, some kids think that this test indicates that school is over. To their surprise,  there is still a lot left to be accomplished.  I mean, come on!!  I can barely get through the curriculum before the test, so after the test, I have to go back and reteach a few of the topics so they fully understand them.  With three weeks left in school, that means there are many more grades to come.  Grades that I had to explain can make or break your report card.  Grades that could take an A to a D or a D to an A.  Little did they know when testing ended, we actually had one more week of testing.  YIKES! Yep, we will spend an hour each day this coming week testing some more.  ... can't you hear the excitement in my voice?

The testing has really gotten out of hand over the years.  In my county we take a beginning of the year test in each subject, and at the end of each nine weeks we take a benchmark test for that nine weeks in each subject area.  In march, we take a D test, which is a determining test, which is supposed to determine how well they will do on the state test.  Then we take the state test in each subject at the start of April.  Finally, at the start of May, we take the county end of the year tests in each subject to see growth from that original test they took at the start of the year. Can you say CRA-zY!  When you figure it all by the hour, it equates to over a week of school lost to testing.  And with that said, I know third and fifth grade in my county actually take two other tests at the start of the year - The ITBS and the CoGat.  Out of hand may be a good work to describe the testing.

Oh, I didn't even mention unit tests for the report card. How about throwing in a weekly Greek and Latin roots and a cold reading test!  Plus, we have to rush, rush, rush through the curriculum, so that means the kids are taking another test or two each week to week and a half in other content areas, such as math, grammar, social studies, and science.

What's so strange about it all is that throughout the school year, the frame of mind is that we are working for the 'one test'.... that state test.  Every lesson we teach is geared toward mastering the state test.  Every test we give is to better prepare them and to indicate how well they may do on the 'one test'.

Want to hear something though.  Let me spend a few weeks with a child at the beginning of the school year, and I can pretty much tell you how well they will do on the state test.  Let me confirm my prediction after the first set of report cards, and then let me recheck my prediction a week or so before the state test.  I bet 90% of the time I can tell you who will master the state test and who will not.  It's not rocket science.

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  1. Oh my goodness...you are so right! My children (and myself) are so SICK of testing. They moan and groan and say: "Not another test" each time I give them another assessment. It has really gotten out of hand!

  2. Amen sister! It's so sad...but any teacher should know their students well enough from teaching, small groups and individual instruction to know where they are and what they need help on. It doesn't take a genius to figure it out and I don't have time to prove it by making data charts in 50 different formats (ok a little exaggeration). I need to be spending my time planning and teaching! Remember the days when the focus was on the student learning and not on testing and data?!?!? The other thing that bothers me is that the state test doesn't show the growth that I see from the first day of school to the end of school!


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