School testing tests patience

Published: February 3, 2014
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I'm glad school districts are required to test their computers so that students don't have to experience a lot of frustration when trying to take their high stakes CRT tests in April. However, another problem is a bigger issue where I've taught. We simply don't have enough computers to get the testing completed without causing a great strain on staff and students. Last year we had to test every morning and afternoon for weeks. This means the computer teacher couldn't teach his class in his own room for weeks. Also, in most classes, teachers were missing a fourth of their class every day, which makes it difficult to move ahead in teaching new skills.

In the past — when we took paper and pencil tests — most tests could be given in two mornings. With computer testing we test morning and afternoon for weeks, even though most students aren't at their best in the afternoon. Classes are disrupted, and many teachers and staff are pulled from their regular duties to monitor the tests because two people must always be in every testing room. Testing takes most of the month of April. It takes a toll on the staff, which affects the students.

If districts are failing or doing poorly, superintendents need to look into buying enough computers so that testing doesn't take over a building for a solid month.

Mary Norris, Oklahoma City


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