Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Just a Number

Today we had our End of Grade Reading Test in North Carolina in Grades 3 through 8.  In seventh grade, this test consists of nine passages--fiction, nonfiction, and poetry selections.  There are sixty two multiple choice questions to complete after reading these passages.  Students are given 140 minutes to complete the test, but may take up to 240 minutes to finish the test if they need it.  Does it really take a test that lasts from two hours and twenty minutes all the way up to four hours to figure out what a student knows about reading?  Can it show what a student has learned in a year's time?

As I watched my students take the test today, I was hopeful that the things they learned during read aloud, during thinking about and responding to their independent reading, during conferring, during sharing and discussing what they read together would translate into a multiple choice, one day test that will be used to determine if they are on grade level or not.  

Sadly, I am afraid that some of my students will say when they get their scores back, "I'm not good at reading." They will base this belief on this one test regardless of how they have grown and what they have accomplished in seventh grade in the time between August and May.  

These kids aren't just a number!

1 comment:

  1. This is exactly why I hate these tests. The are ego deflators. One stupid test does not encompass everything a child has learned!