State Testing Gone Wild

Testing Gone Wild

Testing Gone Wild Requires Plenty of Coffee

I love teaching. I love being in the classroom with my students and being a part of their learning years. I’m not alone. There are thousands of teachers who feel the same way. Lately something has gone incredibly wrong. It is like a silent disease that is spreading from one generation into the next one. These past six years I’ve noticed more and more middle school students enter my classroom without knowing any nursery rhymes or childhood songs. I ask them if they know songs like “Oh My Darling Clementine” or “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain” and they have a blank look. I ask them if they know nursery rhymes like “Little Miss Muffet” and they respond, “who?” But if ask them if they know baseline test, post test, interim test and anything else with the word “test” they know. This is an epidemic of testing gone wild.

The symptoms are clear. The children don’t care to learn. They only want to know how to pass the test so that their electives aren’t taken away. They don’t want to be placed into intensive reading and intensive math courses. They don’t like the label that tells the world they couldn’t master this ugly epidemic of testing gone wild.

Should we have seen this epidemic coming our way?

Of course!

Many teachers all across the nation have been warning parents about the dangers of testing children too early, too much and too often. Unfortunately our voices aren’t as loud as the politicians who have little to no experience in education.

It’s sad to observe students entering the classroom with little desire to learn anything that doesn’t help them pass a test even if the test is filled with errors and illogical conclusions.

So why would these great political leaders push an agenda to over test our children? Why allow testing gone wild to run its course this far? What’s in it for them?

Yes! You guessed it. Money!

There are billions of dollars being spent on educational tools that will help students pass these tests. But why should they need tools to pass a test? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of gauging whether a child has learned the subject matter in which the child has been exposed to all year long?

Yet every couple of years teachers in Miami Dade County Public Schools are forced to learn new teaching software. Every couple of years a new exam comes out and we have to switch gears. New text books, new teaching methods, new software. New, new, new! This costs money! Tax payers’ money.

Do we get better results with all of this shiny new stuff?

NO!

So now, students don’t know any nursery rhymes or fun childhood songs that actually make learning fun in grade school.

But they know how to stare at a computer screen and click on an answer while hoping that the one they chose will help them avoid the label that they are a victim of testing gone wild.

I know there’s more to say about this. Michigan has something to say about this as well. Read it here.

Testing Gone Wild

I’m not expecting this post to go viral but after watching my students take the most ridiculous test on i-ready, I felt compelled to write this post.

Is there any good news?

Maybe. There’s word that soon teachers can opt out of giving these horrific and illogical exams. As for the parents, you can get your child to opt out of the test. I’ve never been a bigger supporter of opting out than ever before.

What’s your situation like? I’d love to know.

While you’re here, check out some of the other posts like this one  .