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I mulled over this posting for most of yesterday.  I have seen many students
"blow off" standardized type tests, not too much here at our school, but in
other places...

I talked to some of our students, also, about this.  Most of them said the
reason a lot of kids take such a cavalier attitude toward the tests is that
they are "tested out".  Every time they turn around there is another
assessment test.  They aren't talking about those tests that teachers give
over the material they taught in class.  They are talking about all the
"Standardized" type tests.  Enough, already...that is how they feel. Plus
everybody: teachers, administration, parents - all get so worked up over the
prep work, the actual testing and the results that kids  feel they are under
too much pressure.  So, I  thought about all the tests they are subjected to
from Kindergarten on, what they are supposed to be testing and how often
they  occur and all the hoopla that accompanies them, and I think that is
probably true.  I haven't listed them to see how many there really are, and
I am sure that total would vary from state to state.

Perhaps we need to re-assess how we assess. In our zeal to find out how our
kids are doing and how they stack up to other kids in other areas, are we
creating a generation (or two) of people who don't really care?
Are we doing more harm than good by this constant testing and comparing? I
can remember taking a test  in grade school.  No extra prep for it, no
hoopla, just an announcement that we should get plenty of rest that night
and eat a good breakfast the next morning to prepare for  something special.
That morning we  were told we were to participate in a special test.  We
were not to worry about the test as it wouldn't affect our grades, but to do
our best. It was only when we got the results that we found out about  what
the test was for.  How do I remember this? Because the same great teachers
who taught me were still there when my younger sibs went to that school and
that is how they presented the test to them. Also, I worked at that school
later and we were still presenting the standardized tests the same way.  It
worked. No one was stressed out, the teachers stayed calm, parents were not
obsessed. I am sure we all did very well.

Please, I am not advocating that all testing is bad - or unnecessary. But, I
know this is getting to be a problem and I am getting concerned, especially
as I have a grandson who will be going through all this testing.  I don't
want him to worry about how he stacks up to others - I just want him to do
his best.
Just my 2 cents worth.....

Toni Koontz
Media Specialist
St. Charles Preparatory
Columbus Ohio
Carpe Diem

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