The time spent with family and friends during the holidays will definitely be remembered forever. But wouldn’t it be better if that joy was achieved without the stress, impatience, and anxiety that so many of us experience?
Here’s how students feel about regular exams, high-stakes tests like MCAS, MAP, and SAT. Students know these exams are important. Sadly, what amplifies anxiety is knowing its importance.It robs students of their best performance.
High-stakes testing misses an important aspect of every student’s education. Show me a standardized test that measures students who have overcome stage fright and are currently performing in school plays. Show me which bubble to fill in to measure compassion and honesty.
Now it’s time. If you’ve ever forgotten to give someone a gift, you know how students feel when they don’t get a question or even a section on a standardized test.
Students do not choose these exams. Adults far from the classroom decide which tests and when are best for their students. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take tests. I’m saying there shouldn’t be that many exams.
In our school, students receive a midterm progress report the day before winter break, after returning home, students take a second set of three MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) tests, and during the week of MLK vacation, students receive a midterm progress report. take the exam. It’s like, “The tests keep going until I get good grades.”
Teachers know their students well and know when they can prove their proficiency. The problem is that federal, state and district governments all have their own “accountability measures.” While this sounds great, weeks of classroom time are lost with little to no benefit to students.
MCAS results are usually provided late in the next school year and are of no diagnostic value. The MAP test takes less time, but unless the teacher gives him time to review and collaborate with his peers, the results are just one more email for him to look at later. A colleague of mine described MAP results as useful as a spoon cutting a steak. A tool indeed, but the wrong tool for the job.
Dr. Brad Johnson, author of many best-selling books on education, recently tweeted: We continue to try to standardize them into one he pass. Some go to college for a job, some want a job, and some want to be entrepreneurs. etc. We do not prepare most of our students for life, much less for success in life.”
what should we do MCAS should be completely eliminated. Continuation of the MAP test must be accompanied by sufficient paid time for the teacher to review and analyze the results. Also, we must always be aware of the cultural, economic, and racial biases inherent in standardized testing.
Finally, and most importantly, teachers should be able to decide when and how to test their students. Imagine doctors not being able to examine and diagnose patients based on their needs. That’s what education is today.
Michael J. Maguire teaches Latin at the Boston Latin Academy