Testing Throughout the Year

Although I am not currently in the K-12 setting, I have been watching the Common Core Standards unfold.  I have yet to delve into the details of the standards, but I had to pause for a moment today.

While reading about some of the changes in California with the implementation of the Common Core Standards set for Fall 2014 for English and Math (State plans big changes to testing, instruction) the statement about testing sounded a bit odd to me.

Tests will be given throughout the school year as well as at the end.  This will provide quicker feedback to teachers rather than waiting months before finding gaps in student understanding.

Good instruction includes assessments throughout the entire process.  Teachers are providing tests throughout the year, along with other assessments that tell them where the gaps are in student understanding.  Teachers watch, assess and adapt their teaching DAILY! every minute!

Let me make it clear, these tests are not for the teachers nor are they for the students nor are they for the parents of those students, these tests are for everyone else.

Teachers are not waiting months before finding gaps – they see them everyday and work against great odds to find a way to reach all their students. Parents have the option and opportunities to talk with teachers about their own child through a myriad of methods (email, phone, parent-teacher conferences, etc.).

These tests are so that everyone else can “make sure” that teachers are doing their job.  These test results will not be quick enough nor efficient enough to provide teachers the feedback that is needed to teach our students well.  This feedback will be used by others to try and dictate what they think the teachers (who have already been trained in teaching) need to be doing last year.

Makes me think that teachers are actually bees from Hawtch-Hawtch! (Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr. Seuss)

For more information about the bee near Hawtch-Hawtch check out the following:

Out west near Hawtch-Hawtch…

High-Stakes Reform: The Politics of Educational Accountability by Kathryn A. McDermott

Who’s Who & what’s What in the Books of Dr. Seuss

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