Wednesday, March 6, 2013
#Slice 2013: 6 of 31-A Different Perspective on Testing
This month, I'm participating in the Slicing challenge hosted at twowritingteachers.wordpress.com. With many other bloggers, I am committed to write a post every day for the month of March.
I had planned a different post for this morning--had finished it and had it ready to go --but after reading the poem that Michelle wrote and the reflections about medical visits from Stacey Shubitz, this post about standardized testing woke me up this morning.
Last night, we had time to sit around and linger at the dinner table so I asked my family about their thoughts on standardized testing. Should we have it and if not, how can schools prove that they are doing their job?
I love when my dad participates in a conversation because he doesn't much so I didn't want to slam his response. "Graduation rates," he said, looking up from his plate.
My high school freshman didn't have the same conflicting interest in encouraging Doc's participation so she said what I was thinking.
"Don't you think that's a little late in the game, Doc?" Julia asked. "What are you going to do if kids don't graduate and you don't find out until they are seventeen?"
"You have a point," Doc said.
Julia and Doc were the supporters of standardized testing at the table, but for different reasons. I'm not sure that either one understood my concern that the same assessment does not give useful information about the lowest students or the highest students, (which is another post that I might write one of these days and why I am optimistic in some ways about the new testing coming down the pipe, but also concerned that we will discover a much bigger achievement gap than we think exists...) but Julia was willing to continue the debate. Her closing argument?
"It's the best time of year, Mom," she said. "There's no homework, the tests are easy so you hardly have to think, and you get big parties when they are over."
Wow. Not exactly my Vision of the Graduate type thinking.
My three older daughters watched their favorite show last night (and it's a junky one) because they had no homework and one of them only has her AP classes today in order to accommodate the testing. Hmmm.