So, today, I really wanted to talk about testing. As we enter our second and final day of 3rd Grade ELA FSA testing, I thought it would be nice to take a second and explore a side of testing that is rarely talked about…the benefit(s?).
As we all know, most leading authorities (what does it take to be called an “authority” anyway?) say that high stakes testing is not the best way to evaluate student performance. Some call it bias, some say it is too stressful, and some say it is outright mean. Well, here’s a wakeup call for you…the world is bias, stressful, and outright mean. So why should testing be any different?
Testing performs one huge task. It gives teachers and administrators a tool to evaluate their processes. It gives them an idea of where they were successful and where they failed, where they did great and where they need to improve on. It also provides students a chance to shine. Too often we talk about how it puts a lot of pressure on the students who struggle, which no doubt it does. However, high stakes testing gives the over achiever a chance to shine. Those students that excel during the year have a chance to get their names in lights for once. It can be especially gratifying for the students that flew under the radar for most of the year.
Sure, the prep time, the stress leading up to the test, and the stress of the actual test are all things that facilitate extra attention. The time spent analyzing the data, especially for students in the lower grades, can be (dare I say) wasted due to the fact that the scores may not be accurate. And sometimes, when teachers receive lower than anticipated scores, it can be a dent in their ego. That all being said, as with anything in life we must look at the upside. Standardized test does provide a good snap shot of the overall health of a school. Right???!!!???
BRING ON DAY 2!!!!!!!!!!!