State test scores are back- super disappointed

Discussion in 'General Education' started by cupcakequeen, May 29, 2015.

  1. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    63

    May 29, 2015

    We've just wrapped up our end of the year testing and I got my kiddos' scores back today. Now, I know that this is just one piece of information that doesn't even begin to tell the whole story of how much a child has learned, but still...

    Several passed with moderate or high proficiency and I am super proud of them.

    One I think could have done much better than she did, but she's had a very rough time with some family stuff going on recently so I think that had an impact on her lower than expected scores.

    Some I know did their very best and tried so hard but just didn't pass. These are my very low kids, and I'm just proud of the effort they put in.

    A few maybe didn't put as much effort in as they could, but still made close to passing scores.

    But three...oh, I am so disappointed with three of them. I was testing another small group and was not with them. These are boys who have taken tests in a small group setting with each other all year, no problem. But during their math test they nearly caused a mis-administration with their bad behavior. They were talking during directions, trying to make each other giggle with inappropriate noises, and just plain goofing off. They spent the rest of the day in the office, but it just shows that they didn't take the test seriously at all, and it reflects in their very low scores. I just hate it because they've all made a ton of progress this year. I definitely would have considered them among my top performing students and I was very confident their scores would reflect that. Instead, they all made the lowest score possible.

    Sorry, just needed to vent a little! :eek:
     
  2.  
  3. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    May 29, 2015

    I have been struggling with this recently. If this is who the kids are, don't the results reflect it?

    In the past I think I have done a very good job of motivating students to do their best on tests...and the students have. Now I am questioning whether it is a diservice, shouldn't I let the kids perform how they would without me? We are not followed around by cheerleaders..etc.

    I have worked with many adults, who are capable of doing excellent work, yet many choose not to...everyone has potential, but so few reach it.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,763
    Likes Received:
    1,718

    May 29, 2015

    I think I would follow that plan for the adults.

    However these are children. They don't understand the repercussions of all the testing they are taking. They don't understand how a poor score can really affect their education, especially when they get to middle and high school and have to take remedial instead of regular courses. We do need to motivate our capable students to do the best they can, because we can see the future that they don't understand.
     
  5. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    May 29, 2015

    It is the plan with adults.

    I agree with doing this for daily activities, yet just like teaching responsibility...etc, when should we let them show what they will naturally do, show what they have really learned? How long do we hold their hand and coerce? I think we should focus on self-discipline instead of motivation.

    Again, daily activities, teaching strategies..etc, I agree, but you also have to see what they will do when no one is watching...when it really matters.
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,763
    Likes Received:
    1,718

    May 29, 2015

    Unfortunately, at this time in education, I don't think teachers have the luxury of letting our children fly on their own. Perhaps when testing scores don't influence our job evaluation (and our job), it may be more reasonable to let them show what they naturally do.
     
  7. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    May 29, 2015


    I think we guide and teach on a daily basis. But I am starting to think it is important to let them show what they know and will do on their own.

    We can teach them all the strategies, but I think it is just, if not more, important to teach them to use these strategies when no one is watching, cheerleading, coercing..etc.

    Again, I teach in elementary in California where we really do not have high stakes testing.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,763
    Likes Received:
    1,718

    May 29, 2015

    Too bad that isn't the sentiment in many other states. That seems to be one thing that California does right!
     
  9. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    May 29, 2015

    So what do you think then? Do you think we should teach kids on a daily basis, give them the strategies, show/guide them how to do things...then step back a bit more on certain tests and let them show what they have actually learned? Or continue to cheerlead, coerce...etc, and get what in many cases are going to be misleading results?

    I guess I am less interested in what a student can, may do, when they are motivated, in the mood, feel like it..etc, and more interested in getting students to raise their self discipine and showing what they are capable of doing day in day out. What they will do throughout their lives.

    Not sure if this makes sense.
     
  10. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,763
    Likes Received:
    1,718

    May 29, 2015

    I guess I am torn on this issue. In many instances, there are children in a class who will succeed using your methods. There are many other children who are not ready for even that little bit of independence. This may be because we have spent so many years drilling and killing that they don't have the skills or self discipline to do it without coercion. And as I said before, until the education community isn't evaluated solely on test scores, teachers may be unwilling to try your methods, afraid of the outcome.

    I don't know if you have any experience in other states, but the testing horror stories we read on these forums are just the tip of the iceberg for many states. Which takes us back to the OP's question...What are we doing to our children?
     
  11. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    63

    May 29, 2015

    This is exactly what I worry about with one of those boys in particular. He is SO SO smart, and he could easily take honors math and science courses one day. Unfortunately, he goofs off and never puts much effort into anything, so he winds up in the lower math and reading groups. I am also pretty confident that the next time he is due to be reevaluated he will no longer qualify for EC services because he's made so much progress, so he won't get any extra support there in a few more years.
     
  12. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,304
    Likes Received:
    887

    May 29, 2015

    I also am more interested in what students are capable of day in and day out. That's my problem with state testing in its current form.
     
  13. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    May 29, 2015

    So you want more of it spread out over the course of the year?

    This is what I do not want at all. I would rather use my assessments throught the year and have just 1 mandated state test at the very end. By this time, students are as prepared as they are gonna be and for the most part they perform exactly as they have throughout the year.

    EDIT: Grade3, what do you suggest/do that helps students develop self discipline. That helps students understand that they have to do things that are good for them, even when they do not want to, becasue it will help them in the long run?
     
  14. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    May 29, 2015

    What specific support is this student getting regarding his academic behaviors? What spedifically is being done to have him develop self discipline?

    I don't see a test as being the problem here.
     
  15. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    63

    May 30, 2015

    Here's what we do right now. Also, I realize that for some kids this might be WAY too much hand holding, but before we started doing this he literally never did his homework, never got papers signed, and did poorly on independent work because he spent so much time goofing off and not paying attention in class because he had no clue what was going on.

    -He checks in with me every morning when he gets dropped off and I check to make sure he has his homework finished. If he hasn't, he does it before school starts.

    -He checks out with me at the end of the day (on days that I am there- unfortunately I am not at this school some afternoons. His reg ed teacher in theory does this on those days, but I'm not positive it gets done consistently) and we make sure he has everything written in his planner and everything he needs (books, worksheets, etc) are in his backpack.

    -I see him one-on-one each twice a week (once for reading, once for math) and re-teach things he is struggling with.

    All of this is on top of the other small groups he sees me with, and the inclusion support he gets several times per week.

    It's not the test specifically as his problem, you're right there, it's his attitude towards school in general. Even though he's made lots of progress this year and is no longer failing spectacularly due to never doing homework, it's still apparent that without this support he would not keep up the good work on his own. Even when he was making all F's, he really wasn't ever bothered by it. He'd say, eh, I wanted to ride my dirt bike more than study to explain his bad grades. His current goal in life is to be a pro motorcycle racer- which is fine, he just isn't convinced that there is any need for school when that's his goal.
     
  16. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    8

    Jun 3, 2015

    This "high stakes" testing on top of benchmarks on top of "normal" assessments is so totally wrong. I love how all this money appears out of nowhere when our schools are in danger of losing accreditation. All of a sudden there are these programs available to help the students "perform" (like trained dogs?) better on the state tests. Why not make these items available all the time so we can make sure ALL our schools, teachers, and students are given nothing but the best support all year? Sorry. The end of the school year let-down, frustration, and sometimes anger resulting from these tests and our forced tunnel vision on them is unfair and counterproductive for districts, schools, teachers, students, and parents.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 236 (members: 0, guests: 220, robots: 16)
test