Standardized testing hell

Discussion in 'General Education' started by wldywall, May 6, 2015.

  1. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    May 6, 2015

    We are currently in the middle of M-Step testing, Michigan version of the the Parcc test. What a horrible terrible test, the performance tasks based on the classroom activities are vague and not well written, the kids don't know what to do. The test is taking HOURS longer than we were told it was going to take. One school district in my area are not allowing the kids to go home until they are done, around 6 pm. All portions of the test require computer skills some of the students do not have ( high ELL population, several newcomers and the almost every students qualifies for free lunch)

    ON top of that we are doing the NWEA Map test and the Scantron Performance Series. ALL I DO IS TEST MY SPED KIDS! I am already behind because I cannot get time in the lab to meet IEP accommodations, when I do get in it takes my kids three times as long, and they are taking so many tests it is nuts.

    The third and fourth graders are taking, just this spring, 16 standardized tests, they took 3 in February, (except the ELL kids who also took the WIDA in march) and 6 in the fall. They also take 3 every 30 days.

    The kids are stressed, they are already giving up and some only just started testing. I am stressed, I am fed up.

    Please tell me it is not this bad everywhere????

    I think John Oliver really hit it on the head.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/04/john-oliver-standardized-testing_n_7202430.html


    I don't have a problem with the occasional standardized test. I think the kind of information they provide can be invaluable to a SPED teacher, but seriously 16 in the last few weeks of school alone????????
     
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  3. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    We're at around 16 days of testing this spring, too. Most of the testing sessions take about 1.5 hours, but the rest of the day is fairly shot after that. I also appreciate data... but this is too much. I hope the trend changes soon, but won't hold my breath for the change.
     
  4. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Why is the rest of your day shot after 1.5 hours of testing?
     
  5. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Completely agree. It is so sad. Everyone's hands are tied -- teachers, admin -- because the tests are demanded of them, and the vast majority of us don't want to do this to our students.

    My old school kept testing for half an hour after school ended. What is that like as a parent, I wonder?
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I can't speak for everyone, but I find trying to get a third grader to focus on real schoolwork after taking a standardized test has the same approximate difficulty level as trying to get a honey badger to play a Shakespeare role.

    ...

    Actually, I take that back. The honey badger would probably do an admirable job in a certain "The Winter's Tale" in Antigonus's final scene.
     
  7. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yeah, interesting.
    With the old CST in California 1.5 hours of multiple choice was a walk in the park compared to real school work, as you put it.

    Kinda funny, kids come to school and "focus" for like 6 hours. Throw in this magical, death curse of a standardized test and they fall apart after 60 minutes...
     
  8. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    The kids test for one to the hours, me I'm in the testing lab with someone six hours a day......it's boring, .com voice is gone from reading tests and I haven't tested my friends yet in math.....ugh

    And they are crazy when they are done trying
     
  9. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    One of the reasons our kids are"done" is no activity. Plus, they've been test prepped since February. It may be 1.5 hours of testing . But it's frustrating for them. This is our first and last year with PARCC.
     
  10. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    This, exactly. :lol:
     
  11. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    If I had to say which year I am most sick of standardized tests...it would be this year. I don't even want to get started with all that I see wrong with them, and yes, it has gotten worse.
     
  12. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    The stakes are higher during a standardized test, and the kids know it. Most kids want to do well. We finished our last one of the year today! :). My students are all highly motivated, and highly burnt out from testing, but they did their best to push through.
     
  13. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    :lol:

    This is awesome. Wish there was a good "slow clap" smiley!
     
  14. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Data?
    We are not expecting PARCC "data" until next December at the soonest; how will that help us? We will already be testing again!
     
  15. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

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    16? That sounds insane! I'm going to quit complaining quite so much about NC...
     
  16. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Yes. So much yes!
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    My kid would not be staying at school until 6 PM for a test. Period. If an administrator tried to force the issue, I'd be calling the police and reporting a kidnapping.

    When my kid is old enough to be in school, we will be opting out of these tests. I won't put my kid through this garbage. One test at the end of the year to show growth or something, fine. But weeks upon weeks of testing in formats and with directions that are not developmentally appropriate? No.
     
  18. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    I so agree, and would be doing so if my kids were that young


     
  19. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    For most of the sbaac, testing times are FAR improved. Gone are the days of students having to finish in 1 sitting. For the SBAAC, adapted you can stop at any time and pick up where you left off up to 45 days later. Huge huge improvement, imo.
     
  20. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I think this is how it's supposed to work, but in reality, our teachers are reporting students being unable to go back to their previous work when logging in again. I'm not at a grade level who tests (thank goodness) but it does seem like this year, we are really "testing the test" rather than testing the kids, from what I've been hearing.
     
  21. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    No it works, they must review their work before submitting. Once they stop and submit, of course, they cannot go back and recheck that work.

    This is why they are not allowed to see a new problem without putting in some answer. Once they see a question, it must be answered, and once submitted, they cannot go back to it.
     
  22. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Interesting. We're done testing and didn't have any issues like the one you described.

    I'm just glad it's over. All the VPs in my district are also Site Test Coordinators and we're so relieved that everything went seamlessly.
     
  23. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We don't have to deal with any of this--thank goodness!--but does this mean that students aren't able to skip, and later return to, a question they are stuck on? I always talk about this being a good strategy when working on independent work, or a test in class.
     
  24. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    They may review all items on the test they have taken for that SESSION. Meaning once they submit the test, the next day they may not go back to those questions.

    So yes, they can flag items and move on, and come back to them. They do have to enter an answer though.
     
  25. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I don't think they are having those issues either.

    It sounds like a teacher or admin problem for not reviewing/going over how the test works. I don't think they understood how it works versus it not working correctly.
     
  26. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Exactly! :2cents:

    I felt like I over-prepared my teachers, but in the end--they came to me with very few questions because they understood how everything works.
     
  27. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I'm glad things seem to go smoothly for you in your state.

    Unfortunately, in our state, things don't run quite as smoothly.

    Testing began in February and isn't finished yet. Computer problems which shut down entire districts, lost tests, lost internet, you name it, that's what typically happens here. Year after year. District after district.
     
  28. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    That is probably true -- in which case, it's on admin to properly train the staff. I am not involved in testing this year but I don't get the impression that the teachers who were felt very prepared, unfortunately.
     
  29. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    In our PARCC testing, students could flag a question and skip it and come back later.
     
  30. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    The M-Step is allowing kids to flag questions and go back to them, they also have to review the test questions before they submit. However, all of the essay questions, no matter what it says (write several paragraphs etc) has no limit on what the kids write, as long a they hit the space bar and one letter, the kids can submit that question.

    For the math portion I had kids who could not use the equation editor to write in a fraction, I had to explain in detail on how to do it.

    As for the other tests the kids take, I had one kid so worried about his score, the he had to leave in the middle of the test to go throw up....not uncommon for him, but he was so stressed at one point he tried to convince me that 1/2 of 30 was 30......I had to have him take deep breaths to calm him. He's 9 and all he could think about was meeting his goal score.

    I counted, for just one child, who is a slow tester, he will spend a total of 25-30 hours out of the classroom actively testing from last week to the end of the school year.

    I've already lost my voice from reading so many tests, and I am already running out of time to get all of my kids tested in one test due to the testing window closing soon.....except my fourth graders couldn't even start the test yet due to taking the M-Step......this is insanity. I haven't seen my second grader in a week!

    Oh, lets not forget the manifest determination that was to be done by my boss on one of my students three days ago due to a violent offense that hasn't been done due to TESTING.....his supsenion will be up before we find an alternative to his service hours!

    Testing shouldn't get into the way of taking care of students, it just shouldn't and it is right now.

    My sister opted out her kids on my say so, just because I know my nieces, one was tested anyway.....came home in tears.

    Why do we allow schools to keep kids till 6 pm on a test that CANNOT BE STOPPED for more than 20 minutes and then expect the parents to come rushing to pick them up....and yet not fight back as parents and voters against this test and punish system we have right now? Why is it okay for a kid (nervous stomach or not) to throw up because he is so worried about failing third grade over one test score???
     
  31. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I wish that more people who glorify standardized testing and preach about it being so wonderful and helpful could live in the shoes of teachers and students who go through this stuff every year!
     
  32. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    SS is right. IT is a mess in Fla. and getting worse. Teachers and parents are finally fighting back and Tallacrappy is paying some attention.
     
  33. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    From the way it sounds, I'm kind of relieved this year of testing at my school has been done with pencil and paper. Ironic, considering how little our students actually WRITE during the school day, but it sounds like a majority of issues have been with the computerized tests.
     
  34. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    It is incredibly ironic that an online school would be the last bastion of the paper-and-pencil test! I feel like part of the problem traditional schools are having is trying to do too much, too soon. Our campus is still not 1:1 and so we didn't have enough devices, bandwidth, teacher preparation, or student preparation. Next year we will be 1:1 and I envision this going much smoother under those circumstances.
     
  35. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    In my district, schools were prepared for the SBAC as far as the technology demands. The problem was that the testing company's servers were not prepared for our load of students--the system failed on SBAC's end, not ours. Even though it was SBAC's fault, our students are still the ones who have to pay the price. It's a huge mess. The district is talking about lawsuits against the testing company for breach of contract.
     

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