Questions about Standardized Testing: A Discussion Post

The testing season is upon us. I can feel the stress tick up a notch and I don’t even test my students. We use anecdotal records to assess our students’ development. However, in my school, we have already had a pep rally for one content area of standardized testing. My students sang our class theme song, “You Can Make It If You Try”, to the students who were going to take the test.

The testing season is upon us. I can feel the stress tick up a notch and I don’t even test my students. We use anecdotal records to assess our students’ development. However, in my school, we have already had a pep rally for one content area of standardized testing. My students sang our class theme song, “You Can Make It If You Try”, to the students who were going to take the test.

I was proud of my students. We did it because I wanted to be a team player. I especially wanted to be supportive of one particular student who I have given up my planning time to tutor. Yet, the experience left me perplexed. I felt conflicted. I kept asking myself questions.

We need to talk about standardized tests in a manner that takes the costs and benefits seriously. The Network for Public Education is doing just that. They have proposed a slate of questions that it feels need to be considered in a congressional hearing on standardized tests. (See image) I have some additional questions I would like to consider based on my personal experiences.

If you have a few minutes, please answer any of the questions below in the comments. If you would care to answer all of the questions click on the link to complete an online form. If you care to, please forward this form on to anyone interested in what is happening in our schools around testing.

Click here: Survey: 12 Questions About State Tests

  • What do changes in actions and procedures, because of testing, communicate to students about testing?
  • How important are state tests to student course grades?
  • At what level of Bloom’s taxonomy are state tests?
  • At what level of Bloom’s taxonomy are students taught?
  • How do teachers in non-testing grades contribute to test success?
  • When test day arrives what changes in your school? (For example, are schedules, procedures, and/or teacher child interactions substantively different?)
  • Are humanities classes (art, music, P.E., foreign languages) canceled during testing?
  • What role do test taking strategies play in your school?
  • What do you tell students about state testing?
  • What do teachers in your school tell students about tests?
  • What do students tell you about testing?
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