Tag Archives: PARCC

Testing to the Limit

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”  – Einstein

My fifth graders completed two full days of ELA MCAS testing today. At 3:20, in between helping a student with a migraine so bad he was vomiting and another with a nose bleed, I announced to the class that tomorrow afternoon we have a practice test.

This year, we’ve had 5 district-mandated assessments, not including state testing. That’s at least 10 days, or two weeks of school, or about 60 hours that students have spent pouring over passages and problems. The reasoning, so I’m told, is to have data to assess student progress and help me inform future lessons. I guess all the other district tests and tasks, reading discussions and journal entries, open response essays, running records, reading benchmark assessments, quizzes, math projects, posters, homework, and online tools like First-in-Math and XtraMath don’t tell me enough about progress or planning lessons.

Our practice test tomorrow is to help students get ready for the PARCC field test in April. PARCC tests, which are designed to be Common Core aligned, will be officially administered in 16 states and Washington, D.C. next year, with field testing happening now. According to PARCC staff, 167,000 students have taken the field test.

I understand the need for common, standardized assessments. I don’t understand the need to test two-thirds of Boston Public School students, right after ELA MCAS and interrupting preparation for Math and Science and Technology MCAS in early May. Scores won’t be reported to students or school administrators.

It’s also mind blowing that district and state leaders continue to demand so much standardized testing. How many tests do we need to show what we already know?

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Read more: Standardized tests are killing our students’ creativity, desire to learn – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/ci_22742832/monster-spring#ixzz2xDdIcYn8

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