professornana (professornana) wrote,

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A call for more tests

Diane Ravitch posted a link to the results of the Rhode Island adults who took the state mandated graduation level test in Math. Sixty percent failed to meet the required score for graduation. This is not a surprise though it it gratifying to have it borne out again. I know there have been a couple of other instances where adults have failed to pass the state test in the past. I wonder how well I would do on the STAAR writing test that limits responses to any prompt to one page only. I wonder how well I would do on the short answer questions or even the multiple guess items. My suspicion is that I would not score at the commended level.

I can still recall the TECAT back from my days as a middle school teacher. This test required all Texas teachers to take a competency test to retain their certification. In the fine Texas tradition, we had sessions of instruction for the test (I was actually one of the trainers for this). Nerves were so tightly strung because of the rumors that circulated about the exam (and because some of us had not taken a math class or test in a LONG time). The day of the test dawned, and our proctor (who was the youngest person in the room) arrived 25 minutes late. Let's add some more stress, okay? Needless to say, all of my colleagues passed (and it was only a pass/fail grade). But it underscored for me how much stress played a factor, how even educated people could quake before taking a test.

So, I guess what I would love to see is this: ALL school board members must take the state test that our kids need to pass for graduation (including all the EOC tests). ALL companies who manufacture said tests must do the same. ALL members of the legislature, ditto. Publish their results for all to see. I suspect that the failure rate will be high. After all, they are failing our kids.
Tags: tests
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