Monday, January 30, 2012

Are second-graders already over-tested?

Posted in The Washington Post at 04:00 PM ET, 01/30/2012
By Michael Alison Chandler

Washington Post education blogger Valerie Strauss gave a shout-out to Montgomery County Superintendent Joshua Starr for proposing to eliminate a standardized test used in the second grade.

“At a time when many school systems around the country are — unfortunately — increasing the number of tests that students have to take so that teachers in all areas can be evaluated on the scores that students get on the exams, Starr’s decision is a move in the right direction,” Strauss wrote for the Answer Sheet.

Second-grade standardized test scores do not yet count for or against
schools in the federal accountability system known as No Child Left Behind. The government requires schools to report scores from third through eighth grade and twice in high school. But school systems use additional standardized tests, such as the TerraNova2, that second-graders now take in Montgomery County, to gather information for other instructional decisions.

Students will continue taking a county-wide reading assessment. Montgomery schools are also developing a whole new set of assessments to correspond with the new Curriculum 2.0 that is rolling out in elementary grades. The new tests are being designed in collaboration with Pearson, an education company, to measure learning skills, such as collaboration and persistence, not just knowledge.

“Testing certainly has its place, but we must carefully consider every assessment we are giving our students and determine if the benefits outweigh the cost and the interruption to instruction,” Starr said when he announced his recommendation.

What do you think? Are second-graders already over-tested?

By | 04:00 PM ET, 01/30/2012

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