Archive for standardized testing

Warning: Teacher Rant about Standardized Testing Ahead…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 21, 2015 by Christopher Pearce

Man I’m glad I’m doing these comics about My Friend Dahmer right now because I had to administer our schools End of Year (EOY) tests today and I could not BELIEVE some of the problems I encountered. You’d be in for some more comics along the lines of these, lemme tell ya.

One student logged into his Algebra test only to find that the answers were showing up on his screen… BUT NO QUESTIONS. None at all. He could choose an answer but he couldn’t know anything else about it. This crazy technical problem took 40 minutes to correct.

Another student attempted to use the graphic calculator provided in the test browser… only to find that the test would NOT allow her to switch functions. This is a super basic aspect of a graphic calculator and it didn’t work in her test for about half an hour. It finally started working with no prompting.

A third student wasn’t able to log into the test at all. Why? We have no idea because everything else about the thing looked right as rain on my end… and my administrator’s as well.

That’s to say nothing of the number of false starts, interrupted tests, and other garbage we’re wading through right now.

Here’s the thing – progress does mean failure. Of court it does! Sometimes coming up with a new, better way of doing things means failure on a grand scale, many times over until there is a step in the direction people want to go. Further, using standardized testing as a diagnostic is not a bad idea in and of itself! I was a big fan of the SRI testing we were doing a few years ago and the data we got from that test was helpful! There are ways to get this done and get it done well!

I would be SO much more comfortable with this if the directive our school received from the state was understanding and upfront about this. “Hey teachers and admin… we know there’s going to be problems administering this test. It’s the first time anyone’s attempted to do this on such a grand scale in our public schools. Make sure the students are making a good faith effort. Make sure you do your best as an educator to follow the protocols. Understand that this rollout is going to be far from perfect… and understand that WE understand that.”

Of course, that’s not what I’ve observed so far.

Teachable Moments in Ohio Schools Magazine!!!

Posted in 2014-2015 school year with tags , , , , , , , on April 9, 2015 by Christopher Pearce

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Ohio Schools Magazine is reprinting some of my comics about the PARCC Assessment in their April issue – I haven’t seen copies yet, but my colleague at school snagged one and was nice enough to send this picture to me. If you’re a teacher in the Buckeye State, be on the lookout!

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Teacher Comics: PARCC wrap up

Posted in 2014-2015 school year with tags , , , , , , on March 19, 2015 by Christopher Pearce

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Did anyone else reading this have the problem I’m talking about with the TAB button? It’s not a joke, on some of the tests, if our students hit the TAB button, it was like the kill screen on Donkey Kong.

Teaching Comics: PARCC, Day Six (sort of)

Posted in 2014-2015 school year with tags , , , , , on March 18, 2015 by Christopher Pearce

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Teacher Comics: PARCC, Day Five

Posted in 2014-2015 school year with tags , , , , , , on March 11, 2015 by Christopher Pearce

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Teacher Comics: PARCC, Day Four

Posted in 2014-2015 school year with tags , , , , , on March 10, 2015 by Christopher Pearce

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Teacher comics: PARCC fallout

Posted in 2014-2015 school year with tags , , , , , on March 5, 2015 by Christopher Pearce

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Here’s what I consider to be the biggest problem about PARCC right now – the already established culture of standardized testing amongst my overly tested students. The student I was talking about had a real point about how many tests she’s been forced to take, how most teachers are diligent about trying to impress the importance of those tests to the kids… but there’s generally no fallout for them. They rarely see the results of these big business tests so it’s not real to them. It’s just something they do that mucks up their schedule a few weeks out of the year.

More on this next week, as testing continues.