Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Our Nine Weeks Tests

I have pretty much reconciled with the fact that I give exams at the end of every quarter to my first graders. That means every nine weeks, I test my students on what they have learned during those nine weeks. I've even swallowed the fact that it has to be 25% of their grade for the quarter (like a final exam in college! absurd!).

But you can not tell me, during the 7th week of the quarter, that instead of being in the 9th week of the quarter, the exams will be during the 8th week of the quarter. To clarify, a memo was sent home to parents (note: teachers were not informed, except for the letter to parents we were supposed to distribute) that exams were moved up to next week instead of beign the week after that, as originally scheduled. Ummm... I still have a week's worth of material to cover! An eighth of my material for the quarter! Reading and writing and grammar are ongoing, but it is interrupting a 4-week math and science unit on measurement.

There has been no word about making tests, either. I went ahead and made a third nine weeks exam and a fourth nine week pretest (I create the math tests for the grade), because we won't hear about that, it seems, until the day before.

This craziness is not even close to the craziness in tested subjects and grades. From second grade upwards, all skills for the year are supposed to have been taught by this Friday, which will be the 126th day of school. In other words, teach 100% of the material in 70% of the time and then review for the last 30% of school. If you gave everything the time in merited in the first place, you wouldn't have to review for 30% of the year! Also, upper grades don't make their own tests, which means that teachers have no idea where to steer their students in order for them to perform well. It also means that testing timeliness is entirely dependant on Dr. R-, a former superintendant of another district who now oversees several struggling districts including mine. And she's not so timely and not so good at making tests that actually test what was supposed to have been taught.


Blogger Jason said...

Ah, but you only have district tests. My kids actually have to suffer through a State Standardized Test, the ITBS. Yeah, in Arkansas students as young as kindergarten have to endure the rigors of high stakes testing. And this year they take it nearly three months before the end of the school year...so we can get our scores back before the school year ends...to find out what we did not teach well.

11:59 PM, February 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like you may want to make more than just the math tests. Who knows what grammar/spelling may be on any English/reading tests.

8:46 AM, February 22, 2007  

Post a Comment

<< Home