I have been working with a secondary school that is struggling with student performance. For the third time this year, I have observed the students taking some form of a national test. Each time, the operations of the entire campus have been adjusted so a group of students can take a test that does not provide timely information to teachers nor indicate student mastery of instructional concepts required by the district or the state. To which I always ask, “Why are you doing this?” The answer is either, “Because we always administer this test,” or “Central Office said we have to.” If we expect things to improve on our campuses, we have to quit doing the things that are of marginal value to student performance. Schools typically have about 175 days each year in which to teach students. Every day spent testing subtracts a day of instruction. If you believe, as I do, that instruction is paramount, then you have to protect instructional time from all sides. Which means any test that is administered should do one of the following:1. The test provides timely information to teachers for purpose of adjusting instruction.2. The test is for state accountability purposes.3. The test is for college entrance purposes.4. The test is for individual student diagnostic purposes. If the test doesn’t meet one of the above requirements, why are you stealing instructional time from your students? Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…Visit the LYS Booth at the TASA Mid-Winter ConferenceAttend the LYS Presentation at the National Conference on EducationVisit the LYS Booth at the NASSP Conference

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