What if, especially when we get into the later grades, a student is going through a difficult or rough stretch and just is not mentally prepared to take the test? Should that be held against that student?
This year, there is another issue to deal with. A lot of schools will have their Spring Break a week before the tests, so children will come back to school and have almost no time to get back into the groove before they have to take the test that determines their success as a student for that school year.
Why aren’t they taking the tests at the end of the year? If these are truly the definitive measuring stick of a students education, why are the students not given the full school year to learn, and teachers a full year to prepare and teach the students? Why are they asked to take this test, which is basically their final (it’s what their progressed will be measured by), in May? Wouldn’t a June test with the chance to spend the entire school year learning be a better way to it?
I do understand that there needs to be benchmarks and there also needs to be ways to make both students and teachers accountable for their education. Is this the way, though, to boil an entire school year down to two days of ELA testing and two days of math testing that basically throw out the grades that a student has earned and base their educational experience on those four days?
Does there need to be a better system than what was in place before? The answer is probably yes.
Is this it, though...
Keith Lobdell is the editor of the Valley News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.