(I’m posting this from my Nookcolor…How cool is that?)
We had a meeting yesterday morning–the first day back…after two weeks off…a meeting…in the morning…after two weeks off. Anyway, there was an item about our upcoming STAR testing, and our admins were talking about ways we could raise our scores, since we dropped about 20 points last year.
We talked about getting the kids to take the test more seriously, we talked about patrolling the aisles and making sure kids aren’t just bubbling shapes…but nobody talked about whether calling those kids on that would actually make them do any better.
There was talk of incentives. I’m not a fan. It was suggested that we offer extra time at break for a week as a “reward.” Ugh. That’ll help. Great, more supervision time for some poor souls.
One person brought up that many of the elementary schools hand out gum during testing week, claiming that it keeps them more focused and less fidgety. Uh huh. Like why don’t we just make it nicotine gum? Luckily our custodian nixed the idea of rescinding our no gum policy. (Dang how I hate to see them chawing away like cows or cowboys.)
Then the talk turned to making sure they know how bubble. And I’m all, “Wha? They don’t know how to fill in bubbles? They’ve been bubbling practically their whole lives!”
Then our vp busted a stat on us. He said that the word from the testing people was that up to 20% of wrong answers are attributable to… wait for it…
Yup. So how useful are the numbers we get from tests like this if we can raise scores by 20% just by teaching the kids how to erase better? I guess only in a country where there are actually people who think Donald Trump should be president would we consider these tests a true measure of education.
One of our math teachers made the point that if proper erasing was so important to raising our test scores, maybe we should invest in good erasers for all the kids.
Guess what we’re ordering in time for testing?