To test or not to test…that is the question

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I didn’t set out to be that parent…here I am though, complaining about another issue. State testing. I know from experience that you can’t get a clear picture from testing alone. It isn’t even possible. So many variables can go into it. For example, a hungry child can’t concentrate as well as a full one. Same goes for a tired child. If the child has any life changes going on at home…divorce, new baby a new move even…that can alter their performance. Some children don’t test well. I was one of them. Ask me to write a book report on Hamlet and you will get a book report worthy of Shakespeare…ask me to take a test on Hamlet, I guarantee I would fail it.

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It isn’t that I didn’t read it or don’t understand it, there is just something about tests that I have a mental block with. My son, so far, does pretty good on tests. He had a science test I didn’t think he was prepared for and he came back with a 96, I was shocked. But this isn’t just about whether kids test well or not, or whether they are eating well before the exam or not. This is about the necessity of the test and how I don’t think they are necessary. August 11, 2013

It is no surprise to anyone reading this that despise the common core. I think that it might work for some kids…that it might work for some districts, but by and large I don’t think it is a good system. These test, specially the one I am talking about, are meant as a score for common core teaching. It is meant to see if the schools, teachers and kids are performing well with the common core. It is also being used to collect data and used (according to the state website) as a tool for placement. My issue is that the questions are not questions that the kids have covered yet. My son is expected to take this test in five weeks…one of the math questions on last years test was fractions. My son hasn’t even started fractions yet and he is expected to be tested on them? Even if they start next week, there is no way to master them in time for the test. Not to mention the other questions on the test, just the fractions alone will alter his score.

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But what is a parent to do? You could opt out. But herein lies the problem…at least for me. There are million sites dedicated to state test bashing. There are millions of blogs meant to do the same thing. There is almost an equal number of them saying go common core and state testing. You go on the New York State Testing website follow it to the parent guide and the wording you get STRONGLY suggests that you don’t opt out. It mentions that the tests are used in part of a whole process for placement for your child. Scary talk. Of course I want my child to be placed where he should be. Then you pop over to united to counter and you get this: image33

Along with a link that will help you fill out an opt out letter. Find it here.

It can get very confusing for a parent who just wants to do the right thing for their kid. Do you opt out? Do you have them test? Do you go on vacation that week? What do you plan on doing?

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