Observations from a teacher's point-of-view about state-mandated, high-stakes, standardized testing.
1. Being required to teach to the test.
2. Not having students I know in my testing group.
3. Children sitting for five hours or more without moving, talking, interacting. Teachers unable to look at computer, read, grade, or do anything productive during testing time.
4. Field questions on tests (questions that don't count that are put on the test to determine if they should be "real" questions on the next test).
5. Eating lunch later instead of our normal time AND having to eat sack lunches in the classroom. Crazy schedule!
6. Students thinking the standardized test is the end of the school year although we have 2 1/2 weeks of instruction left.
7. The company that profits from generating the test itself.
8. Companies that profit from creating practice testing materials. (millions)
9. Non-educators creating and scoring the test.
10. The stress both teachers and students feel.
11. Paperwork nightmare - keeping up with over 1,000 test booklets and answer sheets PER TEST and keeping them in order. (all grade levels reading and math, 1 level writing, 1 level science and social studies - 8th graders take FOUR tests NOT INCLUDING end-of-course algebra and/or biology for high school credit)
12. Kids are all different, but they have to take the same test.
13. A four hour test is only a snapshot of a student's ability. It could be a good day, bad day, indifferent day.
There's got to be a better way!
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