Today was the first of three days of testing for all Juniors in Michigan. Sophomores and Freshmen are taking the PSAT. The test windows, for grades 3-8, open and close on a rolling basis over the next seven weeks. Additionally, many schools incorporate some form of standardized test, as a local assessment, for all grades.
The average test scores for each district, school, and grade will be published in the local paper, usually accompanied by a story about how the test scores compare to previous years. The average test score is available through the school’s Web site, the state department of education and many other Web sites.
Children and young adults, who take the tests, are routinely judged by the numbers. Some schools use student test scores to determine placement in advanced or remedial courses. Colleges make decisions about acceptance utilizing a combination of test scores and GPA. Teachers and schools are judged on the average test score. Test scores weigh into teacher evaluations and school closing decisions. This is a another blog post, I will write in the future.
I have spent many years proctoring the required state tests and local assessments. I see the way students approach the test. Some take it seriously. Some take it as a chance to finish quickly and sleep. Some finish a section in twenty minutes, and some are less than half done when time is called.
However, I think it is important for children and young adults to realize they are much more than a test score. They are more than a number. As Bob Seger sings in “Feel Like a Number,” “I’m not a number . . . I said I’m a man” (Seger, 1978).
Students are not numbers. They are individuals. They approach the tests with different lives, different situations, and different experiences. A test is only a #selfie of the student at that time.
Tomorrow, my six-year-old daughter, a kindergartner, is taking the NWEA MAP test for his sixth time in two years. Thankfully, she likes challenges. She likes tests, but I want her to understand she is much more than the number she receives after taking the test. Like my students (and all other children), she has many different interests and attributes. She is an independent young lady, who loves to learn, draw, and write.
Each student excels in their own area. No number can truly tell us about the child.
Please share your thoughts about testing. Your feedback is important in helping me to reflect, learn, and grow. Thank you for reading.
My Commitment – April Blog a Day Challenge
I have joined the #AprilBlogaday Challenge.
This month, I have decided to participate in the #Aprilblogaday challenge. To help with topics, I am using the prompts provided by Meredith Towne (@BklynMeredith) a teacher in Brooklyn, N.Y. Today’s topic was: Resources and Recommendations: Favorite tech gadget, app or software you have used to support student learning. I will come back to that topic. Today, I chose to write about a different topic, since I proctored the SAT.
The goal is to submit a blog entry every day in April. I will not promise each blog entry will be motivational, energetic, and thought-provoking. However, I will do my best to continue to reflect on my journey of learning and my areas of growth.