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A reader posted this comment:
The excessive testing is ruining education. I taught in Germany, New Jersey, Texas and NM. I’ve taught k-12 and have experience in several areas: German, music, instrumental music, classroom teacher for grades 3 through 6, and high school math.
The testing mania is ridiculous and using scores to evaluate teachers is madness squared. According to this idea, I was a great teacher when I taught at a great school and now that I am in NM with some of the poorest and lowest functioning kids I’ve ever worked with, I am a mediocre teacher.
Teachers who work with the most difficult kids should get bonuses. No one who has not spent at least one year in the previous 5 years in the classroom should be allowed to make policy decisions on education.
Test results are not used to help individual students locate problem areas. They are not used by teachers to adapt instruction. Typically the students receive a score and move on to the next test. My students spent two hours last week practicing for the PARCC. The PARCC is intended to assess end of course achievement. This is January. That means students did a practice test covering material that they had not been exposed to yet. What a waste of time! We should have been in the classroom studying not testing. Also the reality of my school is that the disruption in the school day leads to apathy throughout the remainder of the day as students feel that the test is enough for the day and they will not concentrate in the other classes.
My students are lacking basic skills and are being forced to move on in spite of the problems. The situation will not improve at this rate. Testing them over and over on content that has not been explained or sufficiently mastered is a waste of time and money and is hurting students. Holding teachers accountable for poverty, apathy, teenage pregnancy, and the ignorance of policy makers will only exacerbate the problems in US education.