I’m sure many with children in elementary school can relate – but I’m not a huge fan of “testing season” at school. At the beginning of April, I got an email outlining the rest of Cannon’s testing dates. By the time I got this email, he had already completed all of his Spanish testing – which was considerable.
They basically spend a quarter of the school year testing and then celebrating that they completed another test. Cannon’s movie count this month is already quite high as some kids are further along in their testing than others due to absences and other issues.
Here’s the list of testing for one of my three elementary aged kids – and remember this does not include any of their STAMP testing (Spanish) or the social and emotional well-being surveys they take in school:
● April 4 and 6 – AASA Writing
● April 11 and 12 – AASA Fluency
● April 13 and 14 – AASA ELA Pt.1, AASA Math Pt.1
● April 20 and 21 – AASA ELA Pt. 2, AASA Math Pt. 2
● May 1 and 2 – Fastbridge (ELA, Math)
● Date to be determined – Fastbridge Fluency
● May 8 and 9 – School City (ELA, Math)
I’m not an educator by any means and I understand that testing is an important benchmark to identify the needs of students’ learning. But isn’t this a little excessive? There has been so much preparation for testing – then the test itself – and then the two day party they have after each test because the testing was so stressful.
I bet there were committees upon committees at the district level who determined all of these tests are necessary. But as a parent, I have to wonder if there’s a better way. Perhaps spread them out more? Don’t do as many?
I’m not sure, but I can see my younger kids are already starting to check out and they still have 10% of their learning days left this year. But their routines and rhythm of learning have been thrown off and they’re already talking like next week is the last week of school. Jokes on them – they’ve got another two weeks of testing! And then two weeks of parties.
I HATE the amount of testing we do (and I work in education). I guess it’s good to see most states are similar. However, in TN (where I am), our 3rd graders are now faced with “do well on the test or be retained” solely based on the test. With the option for summer school (with 90% attendance) + retesting or summer school (with 90% attendance) + 4th grade tutoring as an option to not be retained. Families will know for sure if their student is facing these choices in late May. Summer school is the month of June.
The pressure is ridiculous!
In MA, third graders do 4 half days of testing. Two ELA, two math and I’m pretty sure that’s it. They also don’t get parties, which I’m sure they’d be disappointed to know are an option. It probably helps that we still have two months of school left, but the testing sort of seems to blend in with everything else they do in school.