Tuesday, June 2, 2015

End of Grade Testing

I just came back from proctoring at my children's school for the first day of End of Grade Testing.

This year is a breeze compared to the amped up atmosphere of the 3rd Grade Read to Achieve Testing we had to experience last year.

Still, Asher is understandably nervous since it is a measuring stick to see how he has progressed this year and today is the first of three days of testing.

Lucy wrote him this note to encourage him along:
The classic "Check your earwax" encouragement. Where would we be without little sisters?

I was lucky enough to proctor a class taking their exams and man, it made my heart go out to all these little guys. It in INTENSE in there. And yes, our school did a little music video to get everybody excited about the day. It was cute. All the words were rewritten to Megan Trainor's song, "All About That Bass" but the words were changed to "All About That Test-No Trouble"

Then I watched this video and wondered when the dancing monkey was coming! (sometimes John Oliver uses salty language. You've been warned)

I love our teachers and our kids. But this high stakes testing to penalize teachers or to "hold them accountable" is nonsense. They aren't given the resources they need to do anything more in the classroom. In fact--they are asked to do more with less than is acceptable. This isn't a Common Core issue, this is a common sense issue.

Three to four straight days of testing when it is absolutely beautiful outside and you expect 8-10 year old kids to be fired up? Nope. And then to carry it on for the next 7 years? Give me a break. We are exhausted already.

And I would say, I have a high achieving kid who has nothing to hold him back. We have no fear of these tests and no reason to be grumpy. It's just not necessary. His teachers can adequately look at his work and tell you exactly where he is without these tests.

You know why? Because they are smart, capable professionals who have been tested to death to get to where they are as educators.

It's amazing how that works.

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