State testing insults me as a parent and a teacher

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Bella2010, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Feb 7, 2015

    tenure?

    inclusion?

    ;)
     
  2. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yeah, we can agree to disagree here.

    I believe they should have integrity. If they cannot legally mark a student absent, who opts out, and shows up to school, then they have no right to do so and simply put, my child would be out of that district. I can not trust them with other decisions they are making. Very simple decision on the part of the district, IMO.

    I'll ask you, would you make a decision like this as a classroom teacher? I can say I would lose my job before I started cheating, marking present students absent..etc. It is not about being a martyr, it is about integrity.

    You do not get to cheat on a test and then blame the teacher because you might get held back, not graduate..etc. if you failed the test., any test, not the standardized test.
     
  3. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    This is not directed to the OP, but it seems that many people are saying no to assessments unless they are teacher created and parent approved ... Without any testing, how do we compare student achievement - and the factors that go into that - within a district and across the state or nation? Does this not matter as long as we don't hurt a child's feeing?

    I'm not saying a child, school or district should solely be evaluated based on test scores, but I do think they have some merit in regards to collecting data. Not to mention, if a person's the main objection is that they make students feel bad about themselves, well, I hate to see the real world come knocking ...

    Mind you, I am not a huge fan of high-stakes testing but, once again, I can see some usefulness in them. I took over teaching American Gov't, a year-long class, in January because the teacher quit in November. So far this year, the Gov't students have taken two Benchmark/practice exams and not one - not one - passed either exam by getting a score above "Basic." There are a lot of issues at play here in regards to scoring, but instructional issues and student-related factors are also at play and need to be addressed. How do I know? I have been able to look at the district exam data and saw that the pass rate for last year's Gov't HSA was 4% for my district but was 68% across the state.

    I guess, I just don't believe testing is as evil as some make it seem.
     
  4. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    OMG, nevermind. :| I didn't consider the possible debate that would ensue.
     
  5. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    There's a difference between testing and high-stakes testing. It's the high-stakes part I have an issue with, not the test itself. When I was a kid, all students in my district took a test every year (the IOWA, I think it was called?). From my perspective, kids knew nothing about them, except there were two days where we got to school and went to the cafeteria to take a test, then went back to the classroom. Our parents got the results from them later. We got a quartile score and a grade level equivalent score (the only reason I remember this is because I was always disappointed in any area where the quartile wasn't 99%+, and the GLE multiple grades ahead). There wasn't test prep, there wasn't tons of pressure, the school wasn't going to lose money if I didn't do well, etc.

    If the state tests were like that, I wouldn't have a major problem with them. I'd still roll my eyes a bit at them (my state's math test does a much better job of identifying my top readers than the state reading test), but I wouldn't plan on opting my daughter out of a test like that. It's the developmentally inappropriate stress, the loss of instructional time for test preparation, and the ever-increasing policy in many districts of cutting non-tested subjects that I have an issue with.
     
  6. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    ^^^ Really? Everyone in education knows "testing" is a loaded word, especially when people start taking about opting out.

    I guess you just wanted people to feel your pain and agree with your feelings. My bad.
     
  7. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Sounds more like the who gets to hold who accountable to me.

    Sounds like the "old" state test, no one cared about and no one was held accountable, while the classroom tests, the teacher got to hold students and parents accountable...now the state test....the teacher is part of the "held accountable " group.
     
  8. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Oh, yes. This is exactly what I wanted. :rolleyes: For the record, my OP didn't say a darn thing about opting out.

    Snarky comments like this are what makes me think twice about posting any freaking thing on this forum. I'm done. Done with this place. I'm a member of another teacher's forum and two mommy forums, and I can honestly say this place has turned into one of the most judgmental, jump to conclusions, put your own spin on things places that I have ever been a part of.
     
  9. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Bella, I understand you so well! Crazy preparation towards PSSA testing was one of the big reasons why I pulled my son out of public school.

    It was equally insulting to get "good" results on those tests. He's been getting reading support forever in that school without me seeing much progress, however, his LA PSSA results were above average or smth, prooving once again, that they don't really mean anything in real life
     
  10. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Feb 7, 2015

    Wow.
    Some people really like to keep their poking stick going, don't they?

    I remember when this forum was a useful and supportive place. I didn't even participate in this thread, but it was enough to push me away for awhile.

    Later.
     
  11. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    Feb 7, 2015

    In NC if a child is opted out it counts as a 0 for the score for the district and for that teacher. In NC the testing results are the ONLY thing that the state legislators care about. They are trying to take our tenure away again so that they can let you go as soon as you have a group of kids who do poorly.

    I am a teacher and a parent. As a parent I hate the testing, and I think it is foolish in the way it is done. As a teacher I am very knowledgeable about testing and dislike it even more than most parents. That said, knowing the terrible impact opting out would have on my child's teacher, whom I make a point of getting to know, I have an ethical dilemma in the opting out path. I do not want my child to have to go through the claptrap, but I do not want to cost a friend and colleague their job.

    There is also an impact for the child. Currently in NC there is no legal opt out allowance. Every child MUST take the tests. Kids who opt out are given the lowest possible score, a 1 on the tests they opted out of, as though they took the test.

    For secondary schools in many districts this score is averaged in as 20-25% of their year long grade in that course. If they come in to the test with a 100 average and opt out they end the year with an average of 75. Lovely, hunh?
     
  12. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I feel for all you public school teachers and for the students in your classrooms. Standardized testing isn't a bad thing when the data is used correctly, but politicians want to use these tests for the WRONG reasons. This is why I opted out of teaching in public schools, I don't have to deal with any of these nonsense in my private school.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I thought it was pretty clear from the OP's original post that she was posting to complain and be heard. I'm also of the opinion that, for the first page at least, what the OP says the thread is about/for is what the thread is about/for. Other things being equal, complaint of that sort is not an unreasonable rationale for launching a thread. Deciding that the OP launched with some different agenda and then imputing malpractice to her for not undertaking a specified set of actions based on that agenda constitutes something of a hijack.
     
  14. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Feb 8, 2015

    It's certainly not something we can easily afford but my child will have to go to private schools because of the testing. I'm hoping to make money from my art to help pay for her schooling.
     
  15. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    just to educate myself a little, so, private schools have no state testing at all? I'm assuming that's because they don't get any government funding
     
  16. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I'm not sure how this works in other states or other schools, but I attended and taught at private high schools. We were still required to do the tests.
     
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Let me chime in on private schools, as well. I work with a HS that is devoted to students with ED and behavioral disabilities, and we have been gearing up for a month to administer the PARCC. Some of these students may someday return to their districts, most will not. I am the first to state that maybe because the sending districts are paying for this placement, we are bound by the same rules and regulations as public schools, however, that doesn't move us out of private school status. If there are private schools out there where they are so far removed from the basic requirements of the state, I would definitely be digging around to see what other "requirements" they are choosing to ignore.

    I have read this thread, and this is my first post in it. I understand OP's frustration, as well as her fears. I am something of a realist. Tests, teaching methods, labels, and emphasis changes much like ladies fashion. Some of it will work better than others. I refer to it as the flavor of the month. I believe that the fear about the PARCC has as much to do with the method of administration as the information it covers. I work with teachers who are most concerned about asking an elementary student for an "essay", or presenting material that they haven't covered yet in math. However, when I question them, a lot of the anxiety comes from the children testing on the computer, something this group hasn't experienced yet.

    Parents need to have some faith that their concerns will be heard and echoed by districts across the nation. Testing has been a source of contention for decades - PARCC is just one test rolling out to so many states district's at once that an entire nation has been able to sit up and take notice. This first sitting will be fraught with anxiety, mistakes, and miscues. The test maker will learn from this first round of tests and make changes. When I looked at the practice exams, I could clearly see that these tests were created to look and function much the same way the the ACT and SAT exams do. I believe that there is some need for exposure to that format at a much younger age, and PARCC is trying to answer that need.

    I know that this teaching to the test that everyone is up in arms about is nothing new, but everyone teaching to the same test is unique. Many states have created their own evaluations for decades, and you would be kidding yourself if you thought teaching to those exams was not going on. If the state wasn't concerned about the outcomes of these state mandated tests, teachers wouldn't be discovered participating in "eraser parties" to improve the school ratings.

    If the OP truly wants to opt out for her son, she should do what is in her heart. However, this is a test that is in its infancy, and the wider the range of accomplishments it tests, the better the makers will be able to fine tune this exam to the tool it is meant to be. If only the high flyers take the test, and those students who the parents fear will do poorly don't take the test to counteract the data of the first group, then it will become a self fulfilling prophecy about the test is too hard for "normal or struggling" students.

    I have great respect for the whole child, including those intangible traits that the OP mentioned in the first post. The truth is, however, is that by high school, all students will have to deal with standardized tests of great importance, and the stress levels at that point are palpable. You may be able to postpone the exposure to this type of test, but you can't insulate the students from them forever.

    I am going to go out on a limb and advocate everyone take this first test, monitor the results, and THEN, if it is as miserable as everyone thought it would be, act according to their own conscience next year. Just as teachers are being dragged and kicking into the digital age (and I work with some of them), so are the districts and states. I know that having taken the tests, the schools will almost certainly invest in more computers for student use, teachers will become more competent in using the technology as a part of the day to day instruction, and students will become more proficient in using their computers as the academic tools that they truly are.

    For the record, my child was initially classified many years ago at a young age. Through the services provided, the hard work at school and home, and the belief that we instilled that success was often possible through hard work, that child graduated with honors, earned high enough SAT scores to have a choice of a number of top schools, and managed to still have a social life filled with sports, bands, and clubs. I believe that this child is most like the OP's son, so I would say to her - let him take the test. It may show you that he has talents you never dreamed of, and it may prepare him in ways you have never considered.

    I know that the anxiety and emotion on this thread is high. Please know that the views here are personal and I am simply sharing them to present a viewpoint that is somewhat different to others. :unsure:
     
  18. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    But that's the problem right there.... why should public school teachers, students, and parents think that testing like this should be a "basic requirement"?

    My private school does not have to deal with wasting time on these types of tests- we do give standardized tests to see how our students are doing and to make decisions on how to improve our curriculum (not to take away funding (usually we put more funding towards weaker subjects), fire teachers, or label students).

    Private schools can also be accredited by the same organizations that public schools turn to. (Such as Middle States in my school's case) Just because a private school doesn't do the PARCC does not mean they're lacking in other ways- my science curriculum already incorporates the NGSS, NJ won't be doing that for another few years!

    If parents are not happy, please look into private schools in your area.
     
  19. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Yes end of the year, but still worth a huge fanfare....teachers would twitch if we didn't take the test seriously ,(one classmate drew a dragon with his bubble sheet, the teacher nearly had a seizure... lol) but they didn't teach to the test like today, and other than a few lessons on test taking skills content wasn't exclusivity geared towards the test.

    I always wanted to do well on the map because those cases determined reading groups, math groups and affected yearly grades
     

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