Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Standardized Testing Season
...is just about over for another year.
800 students, 300ish computers, 16 days of testing, undetermined number of days for make-ups...it all started May 3 and will end about June 8 or 9.
8th graders took 6 days of tests, 6th and 7th 5 each. But all test days disrupted for all students. For instance, the library was closed (the library computer center was in use for test-taking) every day of testing until about noon.
Other parts of the schedule got messed up, too. On our shortened day (Wednesday), those who aren't testing have 4 regular periods of classes, then the last 2 are 1/2 length. That means what you do with 1-4 can't be done the same in 5 and 6.
No particular disruption is particularly difficult, but it's a bit of death by a thousand cuts, where all the disruptions become hard to even keep straight.
Add to that the inevitable technology disruptions--laptop batteries that die in the middle of testing, web access disrupted (as mine was when I was supposed to be logging in to the test administration web site), and so on--and it all makes for stress...mostly on the adults.
The students are fine. They know what they're supposed to do so well that they're often logged in and ready to go before I've even finished reading the directions. And when the laptop batteries died some students just plugged theirs into the carrying cart's power cords and worked in the corner, with the laptop actually on their laps.
I'm sure future generations will look back on this process and won't believe it. Just like we look back on any number of things that used to be done and can't believe it.
Solomon got it mostly right...It really is that even the new things under the sun aren't any different in their fundamental uselessness.
Posted by Andrew Milton at 1:01 PM