Sunday, June 5, 2011

Passing out the Grades

On Friday I handed out the final “End of Grade” standardized test scores.  I had a strange feeling in my gut as I passed them out.  It was like I held the power of them being promoted in my hands when all I had was a number.  The students were stressed out.  One mom came down to my class to see her daughter after the score was given to her.  A couple of children could not hold in their excitement, and a few had tears of worry and anxiety welling up in their eyes.

I hate what these tests do to the kids.  They focus so much on the test that they lose sight of learning.  Most seventh graders can’t plan long term.  Therefore, they do not take classroom learning seriously until the test is in sight and then they have lost all of the learning done in the first 135 days of school.

A couple of students said, “But I tried my hardest and still failed.”  It breaks my heart that students arrive in seventh grade with a second, third, or fourth grade reading level and then are disappointed when they can’t pass the seventh grade test.  They are being set up to fail an already unfair and unnecessary test.

Something must change.  Students need to be motivated to learn for learning’s sake.  One more week of school left and then they can learn by playing this summer.

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