All Tests, All The Time -- But Are They Helping?

scantron.jpg

Think that kids and teachers only have to go through the standardized testing rigamarole once a year?  That's all that the state (and the feds) require but that's not hardly enough for Illinois and CPS. 

Already this year there are the Huberman Benchmarks (reading and math and writing), DIBELS (for early literacy), and the new Scantron (which I still don't entirely understand).  Plus ACCESS for all ELL students, a 45-minute individual<?> assessment OLCA requires.  After that, things murkier. There's WIDA, which may or may not be part of ACCESS. Not to mention Mrs. Hingelhofer's weekly vocabulary tests.

How's the testing regimen working at your school, in terms of time and benefit?  If tests gather useful information that is used to help learning, then there's really no problem.  But I'm not sure that's the case. 

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  • We are testing our students to death--CPS is guilty of making no time for instruction because of their forced testing ALL the time. And we have to be done by the end of January--we have to test 150 kinders who are only in school 2.5 hours per day. Pre-k is worse! ACCESS takes us no less than 45 minutes for EACH child. We don't even get the scores until September! Then, what are we to do with scores? We don't know. And the training is horrid.
    Guess what? We have to DIBLE too! OMG this is insane. My lesson plans are ALL about testing, NOT teaching. This is out of control. Isn't there a law in the School Code that prohibits this? HELP-help-help.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    So true...teachers are walking around like they have a gun to their head. Teachers, Children and parents are stressed! The homework stories I hear from parents is alarming. 1st grade children should not be expected to do 5th grade homework. Some of these so called "It" Magnet schools are working these kids to the point where they hate going to school and hate doing homework. It is a race to the top and our kids our losing out on the love of learning while these Principals use our kids for promotions. I finally found a cps school that is more relaxed. I hope it stays that way for my child's sanity and my own!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    The people ( if I can call them that) who make those decisions are so far from the classroom and never dialogue with teachers in the classroom! Total idiocy. There can be rigor without this charade of demonstrating and grandstanding about "accountability". Reality Check folks!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Alexander, it should be stated that ISBE dropped the ball on developing an adequate standarized test for ELL's. Still no word form ISBE after how many years without a test. Slackers!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    FYI....the new Scantron will replace the Benchmark. It's just the new computerized version of the same test. Our school will begin next month. No one is sure how we will schedule 1500 students using only our two computer labs and some laptops but time will tell......

  • In reply to nmrobertson:

    Chicagoans must be told that Huberman, for all his PM Performance Management bravado and trying to give off an image of being "business savvy", fails when reality meets his mandates. That is what happens when folks with very little knowledge about schools make bone headed mandates without measuring the effects on learning, students and teachers. There has been a complaint from the get go about not having enough computers for this scantron testing. Another bad effect is that technology labs will not a be a place for learning but shut down to do scantron assessments for weeks depending on the ratio of students to computers. You can't write this stuff!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I teach in a bilingual/regular 3rd with 22 students . THIS week we did Benchmark Tests in Reading and Math. Also started mid-year Dibbles. NEXT week it's on to TRC (part of Dibbles, but extended - about 20-30 minutes per kid X 22 kids). Also, my bilingual students will do ACCESS next week with the lead teacher , but then I have about 2 weeks to do the individual SPeaking section on my own. The 1st week of February it's on to Scantron ( Reading/Math/Science). And the 1st week of March it's finally ISAT.

    ARE WE TESTING TOO MUCH ? FOr 8 - 9 year olds? Are we stressed out? Am I losing my mind and feeling less and less like a teacher every day ? DON'T EVEN ASK !!

  • In reply to b5ranger:

    My understanding is that Ren 2010 schools don't have to suffer this idiocy!!! Why? Again, the public doesn't know about the madness mandated from above!

  • In reply to viniciusdm:

    Ren 10 schools do the same testing. My child's previous school did all the test mentioned. It was all about the test! I do not think any schools are exempt.

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    I was basing my opinion on a grid of tests that we were responsible to give according to cps. I can't find that paper, but it seems as if regular schools were required to do more. If anyone has that document it would be good to share. Guatemom is right in that charter schools promote the madness that overloading kids with tests is some how helpful in and of itself, like pulling the company line. UNO for example is known for having a test prep curriculum.

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    I was basing my opinion on a grid of tests that we were responsible to give according to cps. I can't find that paper, but it seems as if regular schools were required to do more. If anyone has that document it would be good to share. Guatemom is right in that charter schools promote the madness that overloading kids with tests is some how helpful in and of itself, like pulling the company line. UNO for example is known for having a test prep curriculum.

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    I was basing my opinion on a grid of tests that we were responsible to give according to cps. I can't find that paper, but it seems as if regular schools were required to do more. If anyone has that document it would be good to share. Guatemom is right in that charter schools promote the madness that overloading kids with tests is some how helpful in and of itself, like pulling the company line. UNO for example is known for having a test prep curriculum.

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    Seems comments are broken

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    DIBBLES in the toilet. There is so much testing to do with my 30 primary students that I DIBBLE while the children are in line at toilet time. I am turning into a zombie from all of this testing. I cannot wait to find a school system that does not test these children and teachers to death. Recommendations?

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    DIBBLES in the toilet. There is so much testing to do with my 30 primary students that I DIBBLE while the children are in line at toilet time. I am turning into a zombie from all of this testing. I cannot wait to find a school system that does not test these children and teachers to death. Recommendations?

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    Are parents in Chicago opting out of testing?

    After my third grader told me about the second round of benchmark tests this week I met with his principal to learn the complete testing schedule.

    I do not want my son to have 11 or more days of standardized testing a year. I plan on keeping him out of some of this--hopefully still at school, but if they won't allow some alternative activity for him in the school I'll keep him home.

    Parents (who haven't taken your children out of the schools), have you done this?

  • In reply to b5ranger:

    My daughter attended a CPS Classical school. They were given 25-30 worksheets for homework each week, along with book work, IN KINDERGARTEN. By the time she was in third grade, the pressure was on to keep the scores up. So much so that the students were given several test prep workbooks to complete for homework, along with regular classroom work. They took practice tests and had pep rallies to pump students up for the tests. By February/March of that year, the students were burned out and so was the teacher. Students began acting out, and sporadic fights broke out, culminating in a student destroying the class coatroom. The teacher was so frustrated that one day she cried right in front of the class. I refused to allow my daughter to complete any more insipid workbook pages, much to the chagrin of the teacher and the assistant principal. However, the homework and testing continued at top-speed until I enrolled my daughter elsewhere. The experience truly dampened my daughter's love for learning. It's just shameful that CPS and many other districts in the country are going this route. A plethora of tests will not help; it will hinder, and further damage our children.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    So Scantron next month (Feb.) with ISAT right there in March.
    What is worng with you Ron? See why we need an educator as CEO--the scantron is his idea! If you put something heavy on us Ron, you need to take something away--basic business practice. Where did you go to post high school?

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    BEW had an opportunity to go to the mayor and air her concerns for the impovershed children of this city and yes, offer her job--which would have put her in a strong position. A hedge she would have survived and won because Daley could not afford to accept her resignation. She can retire last year! But the money talks and she let that good power some time go.

  • Well Put Anonymous. I saw the writing on the wall and took my child out too.

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    Are parents in Chicago opting out of testing?

    After my third grader told me about the second round of benchmark tests this week I met with his principal to learn the complete testing schedule. I do not want him to have 11 or more days of standardized testing a year. I plan on keeping him out of some of this--hopefully still at school, but if they won't allow some alternative activity for him in the school I'll keep him home.

    Parents (who haven't taken your children out of the schools), have you done this?

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    Are parents in Chicago opting out of testing?

    After my third grader told me about the second round of benchmark tests this week I met with his principal to learn the complete testing schedule. I do not want him to have 11 or more days of standardized testing a year. I plan on keeping him out of some of this--hopefully still at school, but if they won't allow some alternative activity for him in the school I'll keep him home.

    Parents (who haven't taken your children out of the schools), have you done this?

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    Are parents in Chicago opting out of testing?

    After my third grader told me about the second round of benchmark tests this week I met with his principal to learn the complete testing schedule. I do not want him to have 11 or more days of standardized testing a year. I plan on keeping him out of some of this--hopefully still at school, but if they won't allow some alternative activity for him in the school I'll keep him home.

    Parents (who haven't taken your children out of the schools), have you done this?

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    Are parents in Chicago opting out of testing?

    After my third grader told me about the second round of benchmark tests this week I met with his principal to learn the complete testing schedule. I do not want him to have 11 or more days of standardized testing a year. I plan on keeping him out of some of this--hopefully still at school, but if they won't allow some alternative activity for him in the school I'll keep him home.

    Parents (who haven't taken your children out of the schools), have you done this?

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    check out the language and culture web page dealing with ACCESS testing. Even if an IEP indicates the student has severe disabilities and has to take alternative assessments, we have to administer the ACCESS test to that student. So students who are functioning between a 6 month and 24 month old cognitive level will have scores reporting their abilities in listening, speaking, reading and writing. And then the 'data' will indicate that the school's ELLs are not making adequate progress in English. How crazy is this?

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    DIBBLES in the toilet. There is so much testing to do with my 30 primary students that I DIBBLE while the children are in line at toilet time. I am turning into a zombie from all of this testing. I cannot wait to find a school system that does not test these children and teachers to death. Recommendations?

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    DIBBLES in the toilet. There is so much testing to do with my 30 primary students that I DIBBLE while the children are in line at toilet time. I am turning into a zombie from all of this testing. I cannot wait to find a school system that does not test these children and teachers to death. Recommendations?

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    DIBBLES in the toilet. There is so much testing to do with my 30 primary students that I DIBBLE while the children are in line at toilet time. I am turning into a zombie from all of this testing. I cannot wait to find a school system that does not test these children and teachers to death. Recommendations?

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    Are parents in Chicago opting out of testing?

    After my third grader told me about the second round of benchmark tests this week I met with his principal to learn the complete testing schedule.

    I do not want my son to have 11 or more days of standardized testing a year. I plan on keeping him out of some of this--hopefully still at school, but if they won't allow some alternative activity for him in the school I'll keep him home.

    Parents (who haven't taken your children out of the schools), have you done this?

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    I have one child in a classical program and the other in a magnet program. Both schools have been great at balancing test prep vs. traditional instruction. The magnet seems to have waited until January to add more test prep. Russo you forgot to mention one test called NWEA MAP. The AMPS schools get to use that test instaed of Scantron if they choose. To anyone who uses NWEA have your scores improve for the second administration of the test or are your students scores similiar to the first administration of the test. Teachers do you have students who are testing as well on the NWEA MAP but their grades are excellent and they pass the tests you give with flying colors? Just asking because my child's NWEA MAP scores don't match what he does in school.

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    I have one child in a classical program and the other in a magnet program. Both schools have been great at balancing test prep vs. traditional instruction. The magnet seems to have waited until January to add more test prep. Russo you forgot to mention one test called NWEA MAP. The AMPS schools get to use that test instaed of Scantron if they choose. To anyone who uses NWEA have your scores improve for the second administration of the test or are your students scores similiar to the first administration of the test. Teachers do you have students who are testing as well on the NWEA MAP but their grades are excellent and they pass the tests you give with flying colors? Just asking because my child's NWEA MAP scores don't match what he does in school.

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    I have one child in a classical program and the other in a magnet program. Both schools have been great at balancing test prep vs. traditional instruction. The magnet seems to have waited until January to add more test prep. Russo you forgot to mention one test called NWEA MAP. The AMPS schools get to use that test instaed of Scantron if they choose. To anyone who uses NWEA have your scores improve for the second administration of the test or are your students scores similiar to the first administration of the test. Teachers do you have students who are testing as well on the NWEA MAP but their grades are excellent and they pass the tests you give with flying colors? Just asking because my child's NWEA MAP scores don't match what he does in school.

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    I have one child in a classical program and the other in a magnet program. Both schools have been great at balancing test prep vs. traditional instruction. The magnet seems to have waited until January to add more test prep. Russo you forgot to mention one test called NWEA MAP. The AMPS schools get to use that test instaed of Scantron if they choose. To anyone who uses NWEA have your scores improve for the second administration of the test or are your students scores similiar to the first administration of the test. Teachers do you have students who are testing as well on the NWEA MAP but their grades are excellent and they pass the tests you give with flying colors? Just asking because my child's NWEA MAP scores don't match what he does in school.

  • In reply to Guatemom:

    Are parents who are not pulling their children out of the public schools doing anything to resist the testing such as refusing to have their children tested? At least for benchmarks and Scantron that is our plan for our 3rd grader.

  • DIBLES in the toilet. I have so much testing to do with my 30 primary students that I now DIBBLE while the children wait in line during toilet time. I cannot wait to go find a school system that does not test these children and teachers to death. Any recommendations?

  • DIBBLES in the toilet. There is so much testing to do with my 30 primary students that I DIBBLE while the children are in line at toilet time. I cannot wait to find a school system that does not test these children and teachers to death. Recommendations?

  • DIBBLES in the toilet. There is so much testing to do with my 30 primary students that I DIBBLE while the children are in line at toilet time. I cannot wait to find a school system that does not test these children and teachers to death. Recommendations?

  • DIBBLES in the toilet. There is so much testing to do with my 30 primary students that I DIBBLE while the children are in line at toilet time. I cannot wait to find a school system that does not test these children and teachers to death. Recommendations?

  • DIBBLES in the toilet. There is so much testing to do with my 30 primary students that I DIBBLE while the children are in line at toilet time. I am turning into a zombie from all of this testing. I cannot wait to find a school system that does not test these children and teachers to death. Recommendations?

  • DIBBLES in the toilet. There is so much testing to do with my 30 primary students that I DIBBLE while the children are in line at toilet time. I am turning into a zombie from all of this testing. I cannot wait to find a school system that does not test these children and teachers to death. Recommendations?

  • DIBBLES in the toilet. There is so much testing to do with my 30 primary students that I DIBBLE while the children are in line at toilet time. I am turning into a zombie from all of this testing. I cannot wait to find a school system that does not test these children and teachers to death. Recommendations?

  • check out the language and culture web page dealing with ACCESS testing. Even if an IEP indicates the student has severe disabilities and has to take alternative assessments, we have to administer the ACCESS test to that student. So students who are functioning between a 6 month and 24 month old cognitive level will have scores reporting their abilities in listening, speaking, reading and writing. And then the 'data' will indicate that the school's ELLs are not making adequate progress in English. How crazy is this?

  • check out the language and culture web page dealing with ACCESS testing. Even if an IEP indicates the student has severe disabilities and has to take alternative assessments, we have to administer the ACCESS test to that student. So students who are functioning between a 6 month and 24 month old cognitive level will have scores reporting their abilities in listening, speaking, reading and writing. And then the 'data' will indicate that the school's ELLs are not making adequate progress in English. How crazy is this?

  • check out the language and culture web page dealing with ACCESS testing. Even if an IEP indicates the student has severe disabilities and has to take alternative assessments, we have to administer the ACCESS test to that student. So students who are functioning between a 6 month and 24 month old cognitive level will have scores reporting their abilities in listening, speaking, reading and writing. And then the 'data' will indicate that the school's ELLs are not making adequate progress in English. How crazy is this?

  • check out the language and culture web page dealing with ACCESS testing. Even if an IEP indicates the student has severe disabilities and has to take alternative assessments, we have to administer the ACCESS test to that student. So students who are functioning between a 6 month and 24 month old cognitive level will have scores reporting their abilities in listening, speaking, reading and writing. And then the 'data' will indicate that the school's ELLs are not making adequate progress in English. How crazy is this?

  • check out the language and culture web page dealing with ACCESS testing. Even if an IEP indicates the student has severe disabilities and has to take alternative assessments, we have to administer the ACCESS test to that student. So students who are functioning between a 6 month and 24 month old cognitive level will have scores reporting their abilities in listening, speaking, reading and writing. And then the 'data' will indicate that the school's ELLs are not making adequate progress in English. How crazy is this?

  • check out the language and culture web page dealing with ACCESS testing. Even if an IEP indicates the student has severe disabilities and has to take alternative assessments, we have to administer the ACCESS test to that student. So students who are functioning between a 6 month and 24 month old cognitive level will have scores reporting their abilities in listening, speaking, reading and writing. And then the 'data' will indicate that the school's ELLs are not making adequate progress in English. How crazy is this?

  • Are parents in Chicago opting out of testing?

    After my third grader told me about the second round of benchmark tests this week I met with his principal to learn the complete testing schedule. I do not want him to have 11 or more days of standardized testing a year. I plan on keeping him out of some of this--hopefully still at school, but if they won't allow some alternatives in the school, I'll keep him home.

    Parents (who haven't taken your children out of the schools), have you done this?

  • Are parents in Chicago opting out of testing?

    After my third grader told me about the second round of benchmark tests this week I met with his principal to learn the complete testing schedule. I do not want him to have 11 or more days of standardized testing a year. I plan on keeping him out of some of this--hopefully still at school, but if they won't allow some alternatives in the school, I'll keep him home.

    Parents (who haven't taken your children out of the schools), have you done this?

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