No Excuses University: Assessments

post 1 week 5

“Assessment is not about you as a teacher; it is about your students” (Lopez, 2013).

This quote may be true if those in charge of the school system did not put so much pressure on its teachers that assessments are the end all, be all of educating our youth. I agree with the quote in a sense because it should always be about the students but in my children's previous elementary school that was not the case. Teachers had entirely too much pressure on them by the principal and district to have good assessment scores that they forgot about the students themselves. I don't know too many people who work well under pressure and when students are made to feel this pressure they do not do well on assessments. When my youngest was in first grade (last year) he, along with his classmates, would be assessed on site words periodically through the year. They were timed on each word. They had 5 seconds to say the word and if they didn't say it or said it incorrectly they were marked as wrong. How is this teaching the student anything? I questioned this practice but was never given a definite answer but that "they should know the word right away". NO! Too much pressure on a 6 or 7 year old mind! It is not about the student and their success in this case (and one of the many reasons my boys are now in a different school!).

Defending our Assessment Practices

1. Why are you participating in the assessments that you use with your students? I would participate with my students in their assessments so they feel comfortable during the assessments (I am a familiar face, someone they can trust). I want them to know why they are taking the assessments and what they mean to their education.
2. Can you share in explicit detail the value that you find in each assessment? As I am not an educator currently I would believe that sharing with my students the values of each assessment are important because they need to know why they are expected to take them. It is not just to take up time or for a grade but to let the teacher know the progress being made in the classroom
3. Do you participate in assessments that you find no value in for students? If it is required by the state then yes I will participate because my students need to be successful. I honestly am not sure if I would spend as much time on these types of assessments, the ones with no value, than I would with others of more importance but if they are required then so be it.
4. Are you using an assessment you have no idea how to deliver, but are afraid to ask for help with? As I am not an educator currently I cannot answer this question at this time. With that being said I would ask for help because it is important to deliver the assessments correctly for the benefits of each student.

• In what ways have you succeeded/failed to make students your partner in assessment?

I would think that so long as I have taught what needs to be taught and prepared each student to the best of my abilities and helped those who are struggling then the assessment process should be a success. I would believe that the only way to fail at making the students a partner in the assessments is if I were to not prepare them and if I were to not explain the reasoning behind the assessments and that while they are important they are not the end all to their grades in the class but that they are to show how far we have come in learning and where we need to still go.

Reference

Lopez, D. (2013). No excuses university: How six exceptional systems are revolutionizing our schools(2nd ed.). Turnaround Schools Publications.