Thursday, May 12, 2016

Standardized testing

I received an email from our school about PALS testing this week and MAPS testing for two days the following week. I've emailed her teacher, who I completely adore to find out more about both. Do they last all day? Why two forms of standardized testing? Why does the MAPS testing last two days? How important are these tests?

I can't help but wonder all about this. Is it truly necessary that my first grader be subject to so much standardized testing? It seems a bit excessive to me. I'm anxious to hear her response. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing... so as any normal mama, I went to Facebook to find out what my friends thought. I have some opinionated friends! :) I'm thankful for feedback from all those that answered, honestly, there was a varied response with some very valid points.

Here's a brief summary:

"my kids struggle but the teachers are amazing so we do it"


"If SATS don't go away then standardized testing is a necessary evil"

"Ask for extra breaks so she doesn't overuse her hand"

"Encourage stretching of her hand"

"I have a limb difference and don't want any accomodations!"

"Lots of parents pull their students from these testings"

"Does she mind it?

"One student I know had panic attacks because she got so stressed out."

"Our district doesn't start until 3rd grade"

"It helps to prepare with time management"

"She can't opt out of ACT, SAT or other tests in college"

"She can come play with my homeschool group instead"'

"Who do the results matter for? The students, the teachers?"

"Does she get stressed out by it"

"Teachers in Texas spend the whole year teaching to the test"

"They are required in Florida or they can't advance grades"

"Private schools don't have as many standardized tests in Florida, just one at the end of the year"

"Some districts teachers pay is based on the test"

"total bullshit"

As you can see, lots of interesting points of view. I honestly never viewed it as an overuse of her hand to fill in circles on a scantron for hours on end. I think I need to think more about how to prevent overuse of her hand since she only has one... it's something limb different parents really need to consider. It's something I honestly forget about at times! I also make sure she uses "both hands" when she can, for holding, lifting, carrying, etc...

As far as the testing goes, I'm interested to hear her teacher's point of view. I value and respect her insight as an educator and a mother. I also asked Bella about the MAP and PALS testing and she knew nothing about it! So clearly she's not stressed by the whole thing because she has no idea what I'm talking about...

Wanna know what's stressing her? The concert she has for school tonight!

"Mom, I NEED to be dressed like the email says! WHAT did the email say? It's okay that I have the sniffles, lots of people are singing so don't worry about me having a stuffy nose. No one will notice."

Oh my sweet, sweet girl. You have no idea how much this mama thinks about! Standardized testing, limb differences, attitudes, stress on you, your mind, your body, getting enough sleep, getting enough exercise, eating well, drinking enough water, having fun, exploring, traveling... concerts! That's just a few.

For today, we worry about concerts... Tomorrow, I'll think again about the testing!

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