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Old 06-23-2011, 06:08 PM
 
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My kids all got the highest scores possible on the state standardized tests. They aren't hard. They had absolutely no prep except in third grade when they taught the kids how to bubble in correctly. My gripe is that they take away from class time and impart no information at all. There is NOTHING in it for the kids and it takes away from actual learning. The worst year is 11th grade when they have three weeks of state standardized testing and this is right before the AP tests, same time as the SAT tests and 6 weeks before finals, where all those grades and scores count towards college. Our schools have always met the AYP because the kids are pretty good and don't blow off the tests but as a parent, I'm frustrated with them.
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:47 PM
 
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It's just a test to see what you've learned so far... no one at the schools I've gone to took it seriously. We tryed, since we were college prep. kids, lol, but no one really cared about how they did.
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:48 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
My kids all got the highest scores possible on the state standardized tests. They aren't hard. They had absolutely no prep except in third grade when they taught the kids how to bubble in correctly. My gripe is that they take away from class time and impart no information at all. There is NOTHING in it for the kids and it takes away from actual learning. The worst year is 11th grade when they have three weeks of state standardized testing and this is right before the AP tests, same time as the SAT tests and 6 weeks before finals, where all those grades and scores count towards college. Our schools have always met the AYP because the kids are pretty good and don't blow off the tests but as a parent, I'm frustrated with them.
Enough class time is lost between practice tests, pre-slugging and the actual tests that I teach, noticably, less material during second semester compared to first semester. Seriously, I think they need to pull the tests back to January and do the testing between first semester finals and the beginning of second semester instead of having them in the middle of the semester.

I'm going to date myself here but back when I was in school, ZERO school time was spent on these tests. We took them on Saturday and we just registered for whichever session fit our schedules. Of course they weren't using them as the school's report card back then and everyone didn't have to take them. I'd like to see a return to this. Let the kids who are college bound take the tests on their own time. If you must have testing to grade the school, then have exit exams that students must pass in order to pass the year/class at the end of every year that replace the current final exams.
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Old 06-24-2011, 03:24 AM
 
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Test taking is a skill. Look at the number of students that complain they have problems "taking a test". The more practice, the more likely they will develop the skill for later much more important tests.

I was tested each year as part of a national program in the 50s and 60s. It did not matter to my grades but made the actual taking of a variety of standardized tests so much easier since I had no fear or anxiety.

So look ahead at SAT, ACT, college mass tests, etc. and think of it as practicing a skill, like studying.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:50 AM
 
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sweetana,
That might have been the case a few years ago but today's kids learn scantron testing in elementary school and they have much more frequent tests. By the time they get to HS they are pro's and are saavy to the value of a test. Our schools do tell the kids (frequently) why the standardized tests are important to them, but it doesn't pass the sniff tests for the HS students. Our schools do zero pre-testing or practice testing for the standardized tests so no time is lost for that. However, they are tested in certain grades for two weeks straight for several hours a day.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
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Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
I agree. We need to attach passing the grade to passing the test. And we really NEED to do this to get rid of the floating standard and social promotion.
IME that would be more useful if the schools administered , say, Algebra or Chemistry end-of-course tests instead of FCATs. The eighth grade FCAT determines whether kids pass or fail, but the kids taking the math portion may be struggling through basic middle school math, or sailing through Algebra II. Seems silly to have them all taking the same test.
Of course Florida, in all it's wisdom(?) is now requiring FCATS and Algebra EOCs.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
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Originally Posted by marie5v View Post
Don't accuse teachers of abuse because they pressure kids about the tests. The tests are not the teachers' idea. Administrators pressure teachers to do well on the tests. Teachers can be punished if they do not. Administrators, likewise, are pressured by their bosses and so on up the ladder all the way to the very top of the government, where voters pressure politicians (and so in the end it comes back to all of us). Teachers are the very last rung in that ladder. Your accusation of abuse is unfair and unjustified.
Different teachers place varying amounts of emphasis-- and yes, pressure-- on the kids. I've known several third graders who were convinced they were going to fail the year if they didn't get a perfect score. Strangely, many of them have the same teachers. I'd like to think Mrs. XXX and Mr. XXXX didn't realize how crazy they were making their classes, but it does seem odd.
Combine that with schools that use "get ready for FCAT" workbooks starting in September and announcements & robocalls from the principal starting about two weeks out-- and now McDonald's, of all places, jumping on the bandwagon with "free breakfasts for that oh-so-important test", and it's a perfect storm. The teachers aren't alone by any means, but they make the most immediate impression, for better or worse.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
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Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
It was always my understanding that performance on these tests was used to indicate whether or not a child belonged in an advanced or gifted class, no?
No. Or at least, not universally.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
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Originally Posted by teachbeach View Post
The tests are used to compare school districts.

We tried something new this year~tying the 11th grade test results to their senior privileges for the following year (off campus lunch, late in or early dismissal on activity days, open study hall, parking passes). Students had to maintain or perform better than they did in the 8th grade to receive so many "points". "Points" will also be added to their bank for their attendance, behavior, participation in school activities, community service. It seems like we are rewarding them for what they should be doing~but it did make a HUGE difference in how well our students did on the most recent tests.
What happens to the kids who blew the top off the 8th grade test? No pressure there...
I ask because this is the first time in years my son has taken FCATs, since we've been homeschooling. He got perfect scores on both sections. (Frankly, I was shocked that he did so well on the language half; I've been teaching him writing for several years and I wouldn't have scored him that high.) A tough act to follow, y'know?
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,159,738 times
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Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
How many people would choose to do their work without pay?
Apparently some, because there are a whole bunch of people volunteering. Not everyone needs the carrot or the stick; some people do well simply because they can. And yes, I know that's not everybody.
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