Ever since I can remember, tests have been a big controversy in education.
I can even recall being in the 3rd grade, and knowing that these "tests" that we were taking were soooooo important, that we had to get into rows, and not talk, and just sit there for what seemed liked an eternity.
Well, here we are, starting another round of State Tests this week (for ELA) and next week (for Math) in New York State... and there are a LOT of people discussing the importance of them and what their opinion is.
Frankly, I don't care either way.
That might shock you knowing me... because you might think that I would have a stronger stance, but I really don't.
I value the individual student, and what they can do on a daily basis... not what one test can tell me. But on the other hand, I think that there should be some kind of measuring stick to let me know where that individual child should improve and what their strengths are in certain areas. Therefore, I think I'm pretty much neutral on the whole idea.
Call me "Switzerland" if you'd like.
The problem that I see, though, is how much everyone is making a big deal about these tests... and they've been doing it for YEARS.
So, therefore, who's really being affected?
You guessed it... the students.
They know what's going on. They can feel the intensity getting stronger. Every child's situation is different, and they're going to handle it differently. Some will flourish, and some will not.
The parents and the teachers know their children, and they know what's important. That's what we should be focusing most of our energy on... the day to day stuff, and let the tests just be a part of that ... when they come up.
And then move on.
Eventually, each child is going to be something later in life, and they're going to get a job, start earning wages, and spend it, save it, and give it how they wish.
How many "tests" do they actually take once they get their full-time job?
How many "tests" have YOU taken since you left high school?
At the end of the day, does it really matter, though?
That's your call.
So, my take on state tests... is that I really don't have a take on it.
It is what it is.