Let the testing games begin

I have a new definition for “March Madness” and it has nothing to do with playing a sport.

This March, we have the following on our docket: MELA-O (ELL assessment), MEPA (ELL written assessment), District Math Benchmark, MCAS Reading, and report cards. And of course there are always assessments for RTI/TAT tracking and reading progress conferences/running records.

My poor ELLs — they are going to have to endure two rounds of high-stress standardized testing as devised by the state over the next two weeks. I really question the wisdom of testing kids on a whole year of learning in March — for goodness sake it is only 7 months (6 1/2 really) into the school year. I guess those other two months count for nothing? And let’s not mention that all of the procedures and disrupted teaching time to administer a test will take — 4 days out of the month of March alone.

I do believe that data helps us to drive instruction, to move our students forward. But for goodness sake do we need to gather it all in one month?

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