Standardized Tests: My Thoughts Continued

Yesterday I began my thoughts on standardized testing. I discussed how I feel that the test results affect the teachers more than the students. I feel that standardized tests on some scale are not bad. Teachers should be accountable for what their students learn. Standardized test are somewhat accurate when determining how well a teacher is relaying information to students. However, the tests should not be the sole evaluation.

When it comes to TVASS and achievement scores, teachers will have ‘off’ years when the results are lower. However, the few teachers that I know of that repeatedly receive inadequate scores truly could do their job better. I feel that saying a teacher who consistently receives low scores should rethink his/her teaching strategy is not unjust. The problem is that in most cases little is done when teachers consistently have low scores. The teacher may be moved to a different grade level or required to attend workshops. However, I cannot recall anyone in my county ever losing a job due to low performance.

I agree with standardized testing on the terms that the results are returned quicker, before the end of the school year, and less teaching time is used preparing for them. I feel that the tests should be used as a teaching tool. I actually use the Dibels test results. The results are immediate. After the test is given once, it is given again and I can see if my students are making progress. I do not stress over the test. I want my students to do well and I teach what I am supposed to teach.

I feel that a performance-based test would better determine how a student learns and thinks. However I believe that the result turn around would be very slow and the cost would be higher. I think that teachers should do their own performance-based testing in their classroom. Teachers should observe and create portfolios.

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