What is your reading WPM? (Words per minute) Don’t know…there are plenty of ways to find out. Numerous of online sits offer tests, their accuracy may not be 100% but you can get pretty good idea. For example, I took one that said mine was 346. Not exactly a speed reader. According to a research test that Staples ran: a speed reader is somewhere around 1,500WPM (oh my gosh). Here are more of their findings:
· Third-grade students = 150 words per minute (wpm)
· Eight grade students = 250
· Average college student = 450
· Average “high level exec” = 575
· Average college professor = 675
· Speed readers = 1,500
· World speed reading champion = 4,700
* Average adult: 300 wpm – results found in this article by forbes
I want to draw your attention to the third grade level. 150 words per minute. This is important because this is one of the reasons we decided to opt out of the New York State Tests.
Last year’s sample test questions are up for view. You can view them here. Remember that these tests are timed. From what I understand, they will have 70 minutes each day to complete the test and they cannot ask the teacher for help with words they don’t understand. The children would have to read at a level almost double what the average is for their grade level in order to complete these tests.
I have heard numerous reports that this year’s tests will be more challenging. Below will be many links to other sites if you wish to view them.
Take a look at the eighth grade average…250 words per minute. Which means my eight year old would have to read at an eighth grade level in third grade to complete his ELA questions. To me, that seems like they are just setting them up for failure. Call me crazy.
The math portion isn’t any better. When I first started considering opting out, I looked at last year’s test and saw fractions. My sons class hadn’t even started fractions yet and they were expected to be tested on them. He started fractions this week. Of course, teach to the test. Regardless, the math questions seem more difficult, worded poorly and are overall not age appropriate. Again these were last year’s tests and there have been numerous reports about this year’s being harder.
The main reason we decided to opt out was because we are against the common core. This is one way to tell the state that we are against it. It is not a method of teaching, it is teaching to the tests. It takes away from actual teaching. It has destroyed learning for a lot of children. By opting out, we tell the state that this isn’t the right way for our children to be taught, that there has to be changes. That we want to see an educational system that has teachers teaching and not preparing our kids for a test.
I have gotten some helicopter mom comments over this. I get get it. This generation is too soft. Kids these days have parents that baby them too much. Life isn’t fair. Kids need to toughen up. I agree. I am all for tests. Cody has a big Science test coming up that we are studying for. I want him to do well on that test. I want him to do well on his Math tests, and his English and Health tests. His Gym tests. Tests that actually show that he is learning and understanding the material. Not tests that are not age appropriate. I don’t want him taking tests that aren’t helpful to his education. From everything that I have found out, these test results will come back too late to help him now. From what I have researched and discovered these test are not helpful for the teacher, the parent and most importantly not helpful to the children. In fact, they are stressful and unnecessary the way the are currently being given. Until that changes, we will opt out.