Saturday, August 8, 2015

Standardized Testing

Standardized testing in schools can be such a hot button topic. Some schools get it right and other's don't. I personally think that the nation's government has put so much pressure on our teachers to get our children to perform in ways that maybe they just aren't able to.

When we look at standardized testing my heart goes out to the kids who have test anxiety or a test taking disability, and honestly can't test well. It's not that they don't want to, they just aren't made that way. My heart also goes out to the ones who have dyslexia and can't read the best. We're throwing these kids into a timed environment where they have to rush and try to comprehend what they need to do on the test. Yes for some there are modifications made and assistance given but they are still in a pressurized environment.

In some schools and homes the kids who test well are celebrated and the kids who test poorly are left feeling deflated. However those same kids who received low test scores, may be exceptional in art, music, or sports. They may not be able to read well but that does not mean they aren't intelligent.

In Ireland they have standardized testing as well, but it's done a little differently. It is limited to only English reading and math, they do not compare it to intelligence tests, and it is done only twice. The first test is done either at the end of 1st grade or the beginning of 2nd grade and again either at the end of 4th grade or the beginning of 5th grade. Not all children have to take the standardized test, if the child has a learning disability or English is not their first language, they are opted out of the test. School's funding does not seem to be tied to their standardized testing scores, instead the teachers use it to formulate their teaching plan for their students and use it as a bench mark for where they are.

I personally like Ireland's idea on excluding those that have a learning disability or do not speak English as their first language. I also like how Ireland uses the results for their teacher's planning, instead of a flag to wave for the school's performance level.


3 comments:

  1. I agree that there is too much focus on test results in the middle childhood years. The moment we tied test results on standardized testing to funding, we created "Teaching to the test" and lost a lot of important parts and components to teaching. There are so many more ways to look at the whole child than a standard test.

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  2. Hello Danielle,
    I just want to take a moment to thank you for your kindness and thoughtfulness, my life has been blessed for knowing you. I really appreciate our working term and your help throughout the course, thank you for sharing your experiences, resources and posting useful information on the discussion board. I have really benefited from it and it will help my future career, thank you. I am sure your determination and love for teaching these young ones will take you very far. I however extend my good wishes for your future; Good luck and God bless you.
    stephanie.

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    1. Stephanie,
      That is really sweet. Thank you so much for your compliments!
      Danielle

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