In response to the 11/17/2011 post, “Assessment vs. Benchmark – Part 1,” a reader writes: SC, One year on my grade level, in my content, we spent 25 instructional days (out of a total of 172) on district and state tests. It is a shame that the time for instruction is wasted. Any competent teacher is assessing all day long and can tell which student needs what. I wonder what would happen in classrooms if the district and administration would back off and let teachers teach. Especially, if the teachers would receive a significant monetary bonus for improved scores. SC Response I agree that we spend entirely too much time testing. And this is from the guy that advocates for the use of short-term common assessments. Every district and campus needs a testing calendar, and for a test to have a slot, the test must provide relevant and timely information that informs and improves decision making. Sadly, the aligned and integrated testing calendar is about as common as unicorn sightings. Outside of a handful of LYS campuses, I have not come across one. As for bonuses for improved scores, that’s a whole other discussion. One that I will tackle in an upcoming blog post. As with most every simple idea, the execution is anything but…Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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