SOL – Oh Testing!

Slice of Life logoOh testing!  Today was day two of the reading test for our elementary students – grades three through five. In the lab that I was “guarding”, other wise known as proctoring,  I had three rounds of testing.  First thing this morning was a group of fifth graders. They know the drill – stretch to focus, log in with lots of numbers than read and read and read.

They were all very low key – so low key I had to wake up one young gentleman but for the most part they worked well, tried hard and are about half way through the test. You could tell that spring is here. They were 5th graders acting like high schoolers. It was the slow and I don’t care attitude. Most were way more interested in the free read book under their chair.

My second group was  fourth graders. Here there was a bit more energy and more sassy language. They were more excited about the pre test stretch with the hopes of just turning it into a dance scene if possible.

The final group of the day was third graders – all energy, questions and concern about how many questions, was it going to be harder than Mondays test. They took a bit more to settle into the work at hand and struggled more with the task of taking a reading test on line.

What was interesting about all three groups is the only people who seemed nervous were the teachers. The stress was on the test proctors, the classroom teachers and the administration. The students just took this as another day  – in fact one student was not sure if we were practicing or taking the real thing.

When you are 9, 10 or 11 and living in poverty there are so many other things to worry about – testing is pretty low on the list of concerns for our students. They are not able to make the connections or see how this brings value to them, their learning future or to the school as a whole.

The parents of these students know the test is important but work, paying bills and keeping the apartment or car and food on the table take over. Once again we as a society have set up the split between money and no/little money in the household. Once again we are leaving children behind because the people making the larger decisions can’t see what they don’t know.  They don’t know the effect of poverty on children, learning and their families.

So tonight I go off to sleep knowing tomorrow we will have day three of our reading test. The students will try as best they can and we, as teachers,will know this is not showing what they really understand. imgres-1

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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4 Responses to SOL – Oh Testing!

  1. Marcie says:

    I completely agree. If only they cared about poverty more than their own wallets. Sigh. Best wishes to you during test week. We just started today.

  2. Kris shrontz says:

    We expect these young children to care about a test that they never see the results only because this one snap shot is supposed to show what they know. So frustrating!

  3. onathought says:

    We just started today too… I have a few slices started about it… but nothing posted yet! My students were at various levels of stress – teachers too. I’m mad because I think it’s a waste of time, and money… and not a great way to treat kids.

  4. newtreemom says:

    Well said. I don’t think there is going to be change for the better until somewhere someone gets outraged about all the money poured into these tests. As if money is more important than our children’s education!

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