Update: It is June 10th and I am still testing! Just finished the 7th-grade social studies "consortium test" that went from 7:55 until 10:40 for some students that needed extra time. Hope it was OK that I allowed those with "breaks given" during testing on their IEP's a few minutes to stretch... My 8th graders wanted to review for their math final with me first period, but because I was proctoring the other test I was unavailable to them. I think they ended up in the library computer lab as no sub ever showed at my door to cover them... Oh, there's more testing coming this week and next! But now I am really done with talking and writing about it, it is too painful to watch my students with special needs be subjected to material that they have never been exposed to as the "consortium tests" were made up by a group of regional educators and as mentioned below, the questions were about minute details, rather than testing them on the big picture of history...
Never have I seen teachers or students more DONE with testing! Today my students were subjected to yet another ludicrous evaluation, this time a social studies consortium. What is that all about? According to what little I could find out, it was made by a group of teachers in this region to assess yet another content area. I'm so done with testing!
The test today was for 8th graders; they were tested on some obscure topics that their social studies teachers had not covered. As usual, rather than focusing on the “big picture” of what went on in history, it was the minor details that they were being evaluated on. Ever hear of the Tonkin Incident? Me neither. Not until today, that is, when one student was anxiously going over his notes prior to the exam. Turns out it took place in Viet Nam and is also known as the Maddox Incident. That didn’t help me either… The problem with this type of testing, more than anything, is that we are turning kids off and stressing them out for naught. Our schools may be based on the industrial model, but it seems more of a medieval approach in how we are making our students feel. Test anxiety is running rampant and affecting not just students, but teachers as well!
In a recent report from the Carnegie Foundation, it describes the feeling of trepidation that is associated with test anxiety. The anticipatory feeling of dread and nervousness before a test, coupled with a disorienting angst during the test that can paralyze students. The more important the test is thought to be, the more severe the level of anxiety. The lesson here is that those at the top who make these important decisions about testing shouldn’t be in charge. I'm done with testing... until tomorrow and Part 11... TBC
Image: allan foster foshydog