I love being an educator! There is no other job quite as important as being an educator. It is our responsibility as educators to educate our students to be thinkers in a globalized world. Now that is a tough job to tackle! We have new standards…Common Core, and quite frankly I am thrilled to have standards that are common around the country. As a mobile student growing up, I have gaps in my education because the standards were not common from state to state. Now, onto testing…we know we need standardized testing, and let’s face it we have always had standardized testing. A lot of great information can come from reviewing testing data, and great teachers analyze their data and make decisions about their teaching based upon their findings.
Accountability is needed. We need to know if teachers are performing adequately in the classroom. We need to know if a program is working adequately when utilized correctly. We need to know if our students are performing on par with their peers; however, we have gone completely overboard! To hold teachers accountable we not only have standardized tests, but now we have End of Course exams starting in Kindergarten! Seriously! My Kindergarten son will be taking an End of Course exam in key subject areas, as well as PE, Music, Science, Computers, and Art…10 hours of testing administered over a course of days, but my child is 6 years old! End of Course exams simply to give teachers a Value Added score on their evaluation. One word for this…unnecessary!
Why can’t teachers be held accountable as a school, for the entire school’s overall performance…I am, as the Principal. I just do not understand the need to test, test, and more test our students. School should be a fun time for students in which they are engaged in learning that develops them completely…academically, socially, globally. Our teachers are going to have a hard time planning engaging lessons with their focus on testing, testing, testing. We want our teachers to stop teaching to a test, but then again, which test exactly? How can we have them stop focusing on a test and make learning fun, when all we seem to do is schedule tests, prepare for tests, and on and on?
Our students deserve the best teachers…absolutely! Accountability must happen…absolutely! However, not by testing, testing, and testing our students. The testing philosophy has gotten way out of hand…what are your thoughts?