Standardized Tests

Victoria - posted on 05/22/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My 4th grader just got her results from her LEAP Test. They are required to pass this in order to get to 5th grade. Now, she and her two little friends have been agonizing over this test to the point where I thought my daughter was going to end up with an ulcer. All 3 of these little girls Got A/B Honor Roll for the year and all other kinds of academic acheivements. Unfortunately only my daughter goes on to 5th grade. Do any of you think that all these girls' hardwork should be thrown away on 1 test? Lots of children don't do well on standardized tests. They have this Terror to look forward to in 8th and 12th grades. What are your thoughts on this? Would love some teacher feedback.

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Tracy - posted on 05/23/2010

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I don't know a teacher who likes them. I know grade schoolers who are so stressed over them they have ulcers. As do their parents. It's ridiculous. And it ends up that that's ALL the curriculum, teaching to the test. So, we end up with kids that have a very limited education and severe test anxiety. Way to go politicians who've never been a *&^^&***&^^ teacher!

Catherine - posted on 05/23/2010

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Although I'm not familiar with the LEAP tests themselves, as a teacher, I've never been a fan of using standardized tests as the sole factor in determining advancement for a student. That being said, I don't believe the current system works well either. We are definitely advancing students who should not be advanced, as evidenced by the 12th graders I get who struggle to read at even a middle school level (but, ironically, who passed the required standardized tests).

Although I don't like standardized tests as the sole measure of success, I won't go so far to say they don't have their place. They allow us to measure the success of students between different teachers, schools, towns, states, etc. As much as an A with one teacher should be the same as an A with another, we need to be honest and admit that it is not, meaning that grades are not a valid indicator of academic success in and of themselves. Although I agree with you that 4th grade is WAY to young to be putting that type of pressure on kids, teaching our kids to work within time constraints and to think under pressure is extremely important. Do students who "test better" do better on the tests -- yes, they certainly do -- but the ability to test well is an important skill, it means the student can think under pressure, problem solve, use deductive reasoning, etc., just like they might have to if they become a politician, a lawyer, a judge, or a surgeon. We just need to make sure to judge student success based on a wide variety of assessments, including grades, teacher assessments, etc. and not just on standardized tests.

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Heather - posted on 05/23/2010

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I'm not a teacher and my experience with standardized testing as a child may have been different because i went to DOD schools on the army post we were stationed at. I fortunantly handle the tests well but alot of children do not. Fortunantly when I was in DOD schools it wasnt necessary to advance any grades.



I can say though they did not ONLY test the ciriculum you should have learned in that grade or previously because I always tested WELL ABOVE my grade level (they cant rate you that if you are only testing on 5th grade knowledge)



When we went civilian though I saw kids kill themselves studying for these things and I pray the system changes before my son is in school. After attending civilian schools in 2 states I will say, Arizona was much more liberal, the standardized tests didnt "count" (unless you did HORRIBLE) until 10th grade. You had 4 you had to pass in order to graduate. Pass them all in 10th grade you never took another one, if you didnt pass one you ONLY TOOK THAT ONE (Or how ever many you didnt pass) the following year. You had to pass all 4 areas to graduate but you had 3 years to do it. And if you didnt pass something your 11th grade year they would help you gear your class schedule to study that subject more, or get you a tutor.

Rita - posted on 05/23/2010

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My husband is a teacher and standardized testing was a part of our decision to home school our daughter after 2nd grade since our district was notorious for teaching the test. We put her in another school district for high school and she just graduated at 16 as valedictorian. Ultimately, I feel that as parents we have to take an active role in our children's education. Her high school teachers (at a large city high school) knew us and we were there for her sports events and school events.

Medic - posted on 05/23/2010

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I believe that they are important but I also believe that there is too much hype leading up to them that stress our children out. The tests contain questions that are below grade level so the kids should be able to answer them. If the kids have problems taking tests then there should be a meeting with the special ed teachers to make reasonable accomidations because universities only accomidate those with dr documented disabilities and so do the elementary middle and high schools. My mom is the Director Of Disability Services at a major Texas University so I know you can't just walk in and say I suck at tests give me another option. Its a part of life and kids should be well prepared.

Angie - posted on 05/23/2010

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I hate standardized testing. Until my son took his ACT I always told my kids that the test results aren't important.

Sherri - posted on 05/23/2010

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We do not have anything like that where I live. You pass by your grades alone. Never even have heard of it. Guess I will be thankful.

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No it's not fair and I've seen some 3rd graders here who did not pass our FCAT that still went onto 4th grade, it's required to pass FCAT for 4th grade but I think it's changed. Hard work in classes should count more so then a standardized test when it comes to passing onto certain grades.

Kathy - posted on 05/23/2010

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I hate these tests and made it perfectly clear to my kids teachers and principal that i will NOT tolerate them stressing my children out over a test that doesn't do anything for the students. They are for government funding only...and its sad that a child works so hard all year long only to get held back because of the stupid test..I would fight tooth n nail if that happened to one of my kids who r A honor roll and a/b honor roll...

Candice - posted on 05/23/2010

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i find it funny that universities understand that some people need special accomodations for test writing, but elementary and high schools don't. i agree...all they prove is who can take a test in a limited time frame under specified conditions. poor kids.

JuLeah - posted on 05/22/2010

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Standardized tests are stupid - I say this as a teacher. I don't support how this system is set up, or the stress it puts the kids under.
The only thing the tests show is who can take a test and who freezes.

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