Time for a little crazy talk.
I was recently on a campus that is struggling to meet state accountability requirements.
The campus is not struggling because of weak leadership, poor instruction or unmotivated students. Leadership is engaged, teachers are working, and students are trying. The campus is struggling because the test is rigorous, and the students are not beneficiaries of enriched and enhanced life experiences. Which means that the path to state testing success requires more teaching, more exposure to content and more time on task.
Except there’s a small problem. By school district policy, each content is required to have three test grades every six weeks. So, let’s do the math for 8thgrade Science, a state tested course.
The state test in in May, approximately 15 weeks into the Spring Semester. This means prior to the state test, THE ONLY TEST THAT MATTERS, the science teacher will administer seven district required, BUT NOT IMPORTANT, tests. These seven tests will replace SEVEN days of instruction.
Because these district required tests will impact student grades, the science teachers will stop instruction to review for the seven district tests. These seven days of review will replace SEVEN days of instruction.
After the students take the seven district required tests, the teachers will then go over each test question, with the correct answer, so students will know what they missed and why (don’t argue, we all do it). These seven days of test question rehashing will replace SEVEN days of instruction.
Add it up and prior to taking THE ONLY TEST THAT MATTERS, the campus will lose TWENTY-ONE days of instruction.
Imagine how the students would perform if teachers replaced 21 days of unnecessary test review, testing and test rehashing with just average, no frills instruction.
All it takes is leadership proactively addressing the question… Why are we testing in the Spring?
Think. Work. Achieve.
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