That’s how Sewanee Elementary School teacher Rachel Reavis says she feels when it comes to the amount of testing going on in her school these days.
Reavis made the remarks at a forum with a local school board member hosted by the school’s PTO.
The Sewanee Mountain Messenger has the full story of the meeting, where parents and teachers alike expressed frustration at the amount of testing being done, even at the pre-k level.
Nine Tests in Pre-K?
Parent Janna McClain, a former academic interventionist in Murfreesboro, said her son will take nine mandated tests this year in pre-K. “Who thought that was a good idea? As a parent it would be helpful to know what it is our teachers are being forced to do,” McClain said. “I think the rationale is to prepare for these tests that are connected to dollars, so we have to do more and more tests,” she added. “I understand mandated testing, but I don’t want my child tested nonstop.”
Principal Agrees: Testing is Excessive
“The pendulum has swung to excessive testing,” said SES principal Mike Maxon. “There needs to be a balance.” Certain programs that involve mandated testing also require additional interventions in specific areas, which can be detrimental because it draws students away from other core subjects and creative learning.
Maxon went on to note that the interventions, a part of the Response to Intervention program (RTI2), are being conducted by related arts teachers and guidance counselors because financial support is not provided by the state to pay for the required interventions.
For his part, school board member Adam Tucker said he understands parent and teacher concerns about excessive testing and wants to explore options to reduce testing so students can focus on related arts and other areas that enrich the educational experience.
More on Testing
A Tennessee Teacher Challenges Arne Duncan
Toward a New Model of Testing in Tennessee?
Parents, Educators Challenge Over-Reliance on Testing
For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport
The problem is data. The federal government WANTS data. Testing gives them data. Wake up.
Or, you can use data to catch students before they get too far behind. Reading data from pre-k and K can predict reading outcomes in the future.
I think Karen and Zack have valid points. Too much data can be burdensome, but in the past we had too little data to help us know and understand how a student was performing. Although 9 assessments through the year sounds like a lot, its really only once a month…maybe a little overboard for prek but it would help a parent and teacher to know what skills may be lacking and what to work on for that child. The big thing is hopefully this data is utilized to intervene if the student has deficits and help show growth over time for the student.