What’s on the standardized tests that you’re not teaching the information that’s going to be covered on them all year? Why do you have to specifically concentrate on covering that information the month before the test?
So you don’t see anything wrong with taking the better part of a month to teach kids how to pass a test to the detriment of everything else they could be learning?? The problem is that the standardized tests are NOT ALIGNED with district curriculum. That’s the problem!!!
Teachers literally STOP teaching their regular curriculum, begin teaching the kids what is on the test and how to pass the test. Yes, I have a huge issue with that!
When I taught, it used to be a joke that our students thought American history ended with WWII because that’s as far as we ever got, year after year. Enormous amounts of history and science content, in particular, are lost when 2-3 months of a school year are spent trying to get kids to pass a test.
It’s nice to think that a standardized test given to millions of kids across the nation will be aligned with each district’s curriculum, but that isn’t even logical or reasonable. That’s why they all stop what they’re doing and focus on the test. They KNOW better.
Now, whether or not the test has value depends on the test. In Arizona we have had horrific “standardized” state tests in the past, and I’m sure our state isn’t unique.
I don’t happen to have much faith in standardized tests as an absolute measure of student learning or achievement. If a school district REALLY wanted an accurate measurement of student achievement using a standardized test, they would just announce to the kids on a Monday, “This week we’ll have two hours of tests each morning,” and see what happens.
When money and prestige are tied in with results, you can bet principals and teachers will do everything they can to get the right numbers, no matter what.