Was reading an entertaining account of a well meaning principal who thought it a good idea if his teachers all took the upcoming test their students would be taking in the spring.

Up to that point there had been pro’s and con’s over Common Core.  Some teachers welcomed it.  Others preached against its dangers…  But once the test was given to all of these, all were unanimous.  This was a huge costly mistake that will have serious repercussion on our entire societies’ children.

ITTS… It’s The Test, Stupid.

Here is the account that came out last spring and here, got short shifted due to our pressing involvement with our local legislature at that time…

Here is what happened when teachers gathered to express the test.

The teachers couldn’t get over how HARD the tests were.  Discussion had shifted from “let’s get ‘er done” to “this is ridiculous!!!”

Teachers noticed issues such as:

  • how overly sophisticated the level of text was for the grade level being tested;
  • how the excerpts were taken out of the context of the story in such a way that put the reader at a distinct disadvantage when trying to answer the questions without enough of the story line or background knowledge about relationships between characters;
  • how sometimes there seemed that there were at least two answers with supporting evidence for each that seemed like it COULD be correct and it wasn’t clear how the students were supposed to be able to figure out which one was more correct than the other, especially if we ADULTS weren’t sure;
  • how there were so many questions that required the student in one way or another to find evidence from the text to support their answer choice;
  • how busy the page looked and how students wouldn’t know what all of the tabs and buttons were for;
  • how there was more than one scroll bar on the screen at one time so students would need to know how to scroll the text of the story differently than scrolling to see the questions on the page;
  • how there could be up to three different texts that the student would have read and to be able to “keep in their head” as they thought about what the question was asking them in order to compare or to analyze;
  • how testing “stamina” was going to be an issue for MANY children, even those who hadn’t typically struggled in the past;
  • how there were essays that they would have to type with whatever keyboarding skills they had;
  • how they would have to type their essays into a text window that may require scrolling if their answer exceeds the space provided.

One teacher said that we seriously need to get ready for students who are going to be emotionally and psychologically DEVASTATED by the experience of taking this test.  One teacher said that she had taken it at a time when she was pretty tired. She figured that her fatigued condition might somewhat mimic or help her compare her mental abilities at the time of the test to what a student’s ability might be like and she said that she was seriously straining to answer the questions and couldn’t imagine how frustrated and exhausted this was going to be for the students.  Another shared how she had her OWN son, who is a math whiz, take the math practice test. She said that not only was he exhausted when he was done, but he wasn’t even sure how well he may have done on it.  And yet another teacher actually asked a top engineer adult friend of hers to take a test and he didn’t see the importance or relevance of MANY of the questions on the test. He deemed it a HORRIBLE test of knowledge for ANYONE who would want to be ready for HIS career.

If you still have not taken on of these tests, here they are on line...  Seriously, you need to look these over to know the extent you are being lied to by those pushing these tests forward…. When you take them, I ask that you rate them for :

  • relevancy
  • clarity
  • honesty
  • integrity

And think of the message it is sending your children… That message of:  it doesn’t matter anymore of what you know. You are going to fail anyway.  (70% do; that is 7 out of 10 children)

Now if you haven’t taken this test personally, you might still think that these standards are tough, and provide an realistic measure of how weak our education is… As an example if the test comprised of a question that asked a student do divide 2345 by 987 and determine its remainder,  I would agree with you.  That is a skill all kids should have.. However after you take the test you too, come up with only one conclusion. The agreement rate is 100%.  This test is ridiculous…

Especially for this one….

  • how sometimes there seemed that there were at least two answers with supporting evidence for each that seemed like it COULD be correct and it wasn’t clear how the students were supposed to be able to figure out which one was more correct than the other, especially if we ADULTS weren’t sure;

Our our adults stupid?  They are if they don’t take the test and if they don’t opt their kids out of school on testing days…. They are really, really, stupid.  Take the test… and make up your own mind…  You can’t say you support higher standards if you haven’t taken the test!  100% (even among those who supported Common Core) agreeing it is ridiculous so far, can’t all be wrong.

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