As a teacher I dread testing time. Not because I fear that my students will not perform well, but just because of the sheer pressure that is put on them, the teachers, and the administration of our school. There has to be a better way of assessing our students.
I am not sure how many of you are familiar with PARCC, but the test this year will be quite different from how students have been tested in the past. PARCC only covers ELA and Math. Many of the questions that students are asked to answer contain multiple parts, which is fine, however if a student gets part A of a question wrong they therefore get part B and C wrong as well. There are also questions on the test with multiple answers. So question 12. could have the answer A, C, and D! Our students have been practicing these types of questions since we received the new s of what the test contains. However this will be their first attempt at this type of testing.
Teachers at my school and all over the country have been focusing on teaching students how to answer the questions, because this type of testing is new to everyone. I am not sure what to expect from our results. I just hope that the students do not get discouraged and quit. I know my students and when things get too hard and no one is allowed to help them they shut down. I fear that students will give up before they are even given a proper chance to show what they have learned. I also fear that many teachers will lose their jobs over students test performance. In the state of Louisiana 50% of a teachers overall evaluation is based on students test scores. This means if they fail, you fail. No matter how hard you worked all year, you did not do your job because your students could not perform on a test. There is no consideration for home life, parents, economics, or students learning levels. It's all the teachers fault.
The silver lining is that summer is only 50 days away! All of the stress and anxiety that comes with testing and all of the other end of the school year activities will soon be over. At least until next school year when we start this roller-coaster ride of emotions all over again.