Share your perspective on Lopez’s quote and statement above. Describe how your mindset has changed or been validated.
I agree with this quote 100 % and believe that this is how assessment testing should be however I do find that some districts use these “standardized assessments” to showcase how great of a school they have and it doesn’t really speak to the children and what they are doing to make sure that they are successful AFTER THE TESTING. I’ve always had an issue with the school system using testing to group children together rather than breaking down children’s strengths and weaknesses and not having a clear plan as to how they would separate the two. When SOL testing was introduced to me as a high school student I was horrified. It was my understanding that if I did not pass these test I would not graduate. The year of preparation did not seem far to me. I spent almost 12 years in school and now I was being told that hey the finish line may not be the finish line if we implement this new standardized testing that may not be anything close to what you’ve learned in the last 12 years. In regards to my mindset. I do believe that there is a right way to assess a child’s progression however lumping all children together doesn’t seem to be the way I would imagine it to work in the best interest of the child.
Consider the 4 questions Lopez lists under “Defending our Assessment Practices” (p.98). How might you use these questions in your current or anticipated practice? What value might it add to your practice by keeping these questions in mind?
DEFENDING OUR ASSESSMENT PRACTICES
Why are you participating in the assessments that you use with students? I would say that for this question the children are the main and primary focus of any assessment.
Can you share in explicit detail the value that you find in each assessment? The only value that I would be able to find in any assessment is to see what the children are learning and how much they have obtained while in school. The only down fall from assessments I feel is that they are usually held to hurt the student rather than help them. If I give a child an assessment and say if you don’t pass this test you don’t get to graduate or some other form of punishment.
Do you participate in assessments that you find no value in for students? I am not a teacher so I do not participate in assessment testing. However I did not like the way the Standards of Learning (SOL) assessment was introduced to me when I was in high school. It was like a death sentence. I work for DC Public schools and the new assessment that is being used is PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers). The test was introduced to the students for the first time in the spring of 2015 and needless to say the outcome wasn’t that great. (If you would like to read up on this assessment you can see the attached link provided http://osse.dc.gov/parcc).
Are you using an assessment you have no idea how to deliver, but are afraid to ask for help with? I am still learning about the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.
In what ways have you succeeded/failed to make students your partner in assessment? We are still working to better assist children with the transition into the new testing that is being provided here at DCPS. However my personal experience with assessment testing has not been pleasant and I would like for future students to have a smoother transition and also understand that this testing is for them to succeed in whatever future path they decide to take.
Lopez, D. (2013). No excuses university: No excuses university: How six exceptional systems are revolutionizing our schools (2nd ed.) Turnaround Schools Publications.
*This text is a Constellation™ course digital materials (CDM) title.