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Teachers, students respond to new standardized test

Original post made on May 5, 2013

Students from nine San Ramon Valley Unified schools are piloting a new, computer-based standardized test. From excitement about new teaching techniques to concerns about technology, SRVUSD teachers and administrators prep for assessing students at higher levels of cognition.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 2, 2013, 4:15 PM

Comments (7)

Posted by Kimberley Gilles, a resident of another community
on May 5, 2013 at 2:13 pm

I am concerned. I am worried about the toll test-taking is exacting on our children -- grades 2 - 12. The research does not show that we need to test EVERY year for a "stairstep" approach to education. Children are not created from a uniform mold; they develop in spurts. A more logitudinal approach -- as in Finland -- may give us better information and be more humane for our children. What if we tested every 2 or 3 years?

The folks who are making a great deal of money off of the test craze might be concerned, but our children might be healthier ... and better educated!

I also encourage teachers to back off of testing. There are so many ways to assess a child's knowledge that do NOT include a conventional "test." How do I know? I've been teaching for 27 years!

Before we start blindly evaluating the quality of a test, maybe we need to stop and evaluate the place of testing in the lives of American school children.

Just a thought ....


Posted by Catherine, a resident of Danville
on May 6, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I completely agree with Kimberley Gilles. The article listed below (not the embedded video clip) was very interesting about how Chinese students may have higher test scores internationally, but are lacking everywhere else. Their focus is just on that test and nothing else.


Web Link

Also, they may have better test scores, but guess what; my white, American born husband is a boss of a whole group of their engineers. In addition, if you take a look at big American companies, you will find management is usually Caucasian or Indian and worker bees are Chinese. What do those tests mean now?


Posted by Alan, a resident of Blackhawk
on May 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm

@Catherine - that is such a ridiculous statement.
According to bls.gov the unemployment rates by race in 2010 were, white=8.7, Asian=7.5. For April 2013 they are white=6.4, Asian=5.1
The rate for whites <20yrs is close to 20%, there are no such figures for Asians but I am pretty certain it is much lower.

While there might be downsides to testing and your husband is certainly smart, please do some first hand research. Otherwise you sound like a rabble-rousing fool!


Posted by Catherine, a resident of Danville
on May 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm

@ Alan

Did you even read the article? Apparently not!


Posted by Conservator, a resident of Danville
on May 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm

@C,

In terms of post-industrial revolution era companies, your senior management characterization is perhaps a reasonable guess.

In terms of 21st century, high-tech companies that enable silly debates such as this over the Internet, I would say that you can't be MORE wrong (Web Link).

In terms of exhibiting supreme bigotry that only one in full white cloak and adorning hood could appreciate, you are spot-on.


Posted by Douglas, a resident of Blackhawk
on May 6, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Ms. Gilles is quite correct. There are many ways to asses if a student is grasping material and the yearly testing needs to go. It doesn't matter if it is STAR or Common Core as one is just as bad as the other.

Also, the article mentions, "San Ramon Valley Unified officials and teachers seem excited about the new standards and assessment," but the teachers I have spoken with are not on board and think Common Core will be a detriment to our children.

The yearly testing is really doing nothing for our children as the schools are so focused on the students doing well so the district can show a great API to have "bragging rights" that actual instruction in the material they should be learning practically stops.

Where in the work world do you take a full week and sit down to fill in bubbles or write an essay on what you have learned at your company over the year? That is not how the workforce is assessed. Therefore why should our children have to fill in bubbles or write essays when they have already had numerous assessments in their actual subjects that should enough to judge their prowess?

States and educators are being lemmings when it comes to Common Core, especially since the current White House resident is pushing it. If educators would actually do their job and look into it, they would have found there are a number of problems with Common Core – one size just doesn't fit all and kills creativity. We really are headed towards Orwell's 1984 and people just don't or can't see it. At some point it will just be too late to stop and go back.

Web Link


Posted by concerned teacher, a resident of Danville
on May 17, 2013 at 10:56 am

I am a teacher in a neighboring district and am cautiously optimistic about the shift to common core. In my opinion, the problem isn't with the common core standards themselves (they look pretty decent to me). The assessment piece is the problem. Unfortunately, we lump the standards and the assessments together.


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