I have always been one to think standardized testing was a waste of time…. How can one test given to the masses dictate what an individual scholar is actually capable of???? Just doesn't make sense.
All day long teachers are asked to modify, accommodate, differentiate, scaffold, (insert other term meant to mean deviate from what the standard lesson is to make sure that all your students learning needs are being met at the same time) but then be asked to administer a one size fits all test that everyone will take regardless of how differentiated their learning has been.
Not taking into account that some students, dare I say the majority of students have test anxiety and are more apt to show their learned skill through application then some made up sentence/question/story that was written in a way to purposely trick them (not evoke higher level thinking)…..
But here we have those in higher seats that may have never stepped foot into a classroom, educational environment, attempted to teach a lesson at the varying levels within the classroom, put a lesson plan together, assess where each student is individually, or for that matter tell you what each persons job in a school building is (and no watching the children is no ones job title in a school building)….
I say this to say that this pandemic has lead us to continue the fight against standardized testing in education as a whole but especially the tight choke hold that is held on public school education. Testing has always been a means to weed out the “inferior” by any means necessary. And by inferior I mean the ones deemed inferior by the ones who are in charge. Take for instance the test that was administered to black folks as they went to vote, and how that test changed to make sure no-one would pass (no one newly allowed to vote that is), hell the people who already had the right to vote since birth would not have been able to pass but those in charge wanted to keep the power and found a loop hole to keep that power for as long as possible.
Yes we are in the middle of a poorly handled pandemic that is claiming bodies left, right, up and down…… and not only are we asking our kids to learn how to learn in this new environment but we are asking more than ever before of our teachers and educators… Teachers are attempting to balance teaching with social emotional learning and checking in on kids whose safety rested within the confines of the school walls… In everything that is asked of students and teachers under “normal or typical circumstances” and standardized testing shines through with big error messages of this just ain't right… Why is common sense lost on why standardized testing should be eliminated until we have made a better plan of action and approach to online learning during a national and world wide crisis.
Staff and students are worried about how a disease will attack their bodies if contracted. People are literally dying everyday from the complications this virus inflicts but standardized testing gets a green light…
I call flag on the play and the whole d*** system.
We have bigger issues that we should be tackling…. Online engagement, how to better distribute resources, ways to provide families and communities with the support needed so that the teachers and school staff aren't playing roles of social workers and psychologist. What about the ways these schools are still providing and transporting food to our students because there is a well known fact schools are the safety net that catches those whose only meal, hug, smile, affirmation, acknowledgement, etc (cause we would literally be here all day if I continued) comes from the school.
I leave you with these questions, because I understand students are and will be taking these test and I am looking for open discussions that lead to actions and results.... What will standardized testing show us this year? Who will take the brunt of the blame should the test results be lower than expected? What is the plan of action to support educators and scholars in preparation for these mandated tests as well as the aftermath? Who will be responsible for the unnecessary added emotional trauma during this pandemic by standardized testing?