Tuesday, March 4, 2014
My "Aha" Moment at the NPE Conference in Austin.
There were many great presentations at the Network for Public Education Conference in Austin, but the piece of information that made the biggest impression on me was about something I should have already known about- The New York State ELA and Math tests in grades 3-8.
And here it is ( I don't remember who said it)
The New York State ELA and Math Tests are given in April, taking up to 6 full days. The results are not given back till August. Worse yet, neither teachers nor parents are allowed to see the tests. This means these time consuming, stress ridden tests, which shape pedagogy for moths before in many schools HAVE NO EDUCATIONAL VALUE FOR THE STUDENTS WHO TAKE THEM!!! Because of timing and test secrecy, they cannot be used to help individual students identify their weaknesses and improve their skills.
So why are they there?
They are strictly punitive measures to be used in school and teacher evaluation. Does anyone realize how insane this is? What a colossal waste of time and money? What an invitation to abuse?
No one should take these tests. They are totally useless from an educational standpoint.
It's really that simple.