No, this is not just a test…

I’m assisting our testing coordinator during our Assessment of Course Performance (ACP) week. That’s semester exams for all of you on-Dallas ISD folks. It’s four days of two 2-hour tests per day. 

It got me thinking. I know students should be assessed in a timely manner, frequently with effective feedback. I get it. But this is four entire days of district tests… it just reminds me of what is to come for our students. We have state assessments, state assessments for English Language Learners, state assessment retakes, and before you know it, it’s time for the second semester district exams. 

Does this seem like an inordinate amount to anyone? When chatting with our testing coordinator, she said there are at least one month of testing days. Granted, these are not all full days of classes missed for tests, but the students are at least, missing a couple of periods a day.

My question is this: at what point do we admit that there is too much testing? And even if no one is bold enough to say it, when are we going to admit that the feedback from these is not the most effective way to motivate a change in either teaching or learning? And even if the previous two never are discussed, when will we admit that maybe, just maybe, between the feedback from the previous round of testing and the next administration of assessments, there just isn’t enough time or energy to effectively plan how to create an environment for students to improve in targetted areas?

I could go on and on and on. I might later, but for now, that is all.

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