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The only standard thing about standardized testing, is that it always seems to be a controversial subject. No matter the district or the state you live in, neither students or teachers are fans of these tests.
Standardized testing. Standardized testing. One. Two. Three.
No matter what part of the testing you’re talking about, someone always seems to have a complaint. Teachers shouldn’t have to hide when it comes to these types of subjects. Sadly in this day and age teacher confessions has to be anonymously so that of course they don’t lose their jobs in the process.
What are students really learning?
As an army brat I feel like I took standardized tests every year that I was in school. Maybe it was just a placement test that I am confusing with a standardized test, either way, I feel like I was tested every single year! I’m sure that this isn’t completely true, but in my 12+ years of school I’m pretty sure I took my fair share of bubble tests.
With all my experience with these tests I can conclude that the one thing that these tests don’t account for is test anxiety. I’m one of those lucky people who can know a great deal about a certain subject, but the moment a test is put in front of them they literally think they are being tricked by the test questions. I’ve personally looked at test questions and thought that I missed assignments because my anxiety made me think that the material in front of me was completely new!
It’s a common occurrence I’m sure since there is a lot of pressure put on kids surrounding these tests. So much importance is put on these tests that a 9 and 10 year old will have a panic attack thinking about them!
Teachers gonna teach.
The other gauge these tests show is supposedly how well a teacher is teaching.
On the surface it seems like an easy way to test a teacher’s ability to teach. However, each classroom population is different and every year is different. There simply is nothing standard about the approach a teacher has to take when dealing with a new crop of students.
I don’t have much experience yet in classrooms, but I have seen major differences in two kindergarten classes that are mind blowing! With a teacher expected to teach the same thing to each class it’s a wonder that everything gets covered.
The first year I volunteered the class:
- a large group of accelerated readers
- a large group of non-readers
- half the class was learning at an average pace.
The second year I saw a totally different make up:
- fewer accelerated readers
- fewer non-readers
- the large middle group reached first grade reading levels a month before the end of school.
It wasn’t just the academics of the kids that changed the classroom so much. The first year there were more conflicts in the classroom for the teacher to work around. Some were IEPs and some were just personalities that clashed. The second year was full of a pretty mellow class of kids. Personality issues aren’t even on the radar. This may account for their learning being more advanced.
How can the same test give accurate readings of a teacher’s ability to teach when no two classes are the same?
From the sound of these Teacher Confessions it doesn’t look as if these tests do anything more that stress out the children that are taking them!
What’s your opinion of standardized testing?