Submitted on December 8, 2011 by Timothy Boyle
Can you remember the last time your principal looked at data from an assessment you made? I don’t. Do you recall the last time you sat down during a half-day professional development and discussed data that didn’t come from an external testing company? Since I started as a teacher, I can’t think of anything other than PSSAs or predictive test results being the focus of data reviews at staff meetings. It disturbs me how our students are primarily measured by federal, state and local standards using measurements that we didn’t create.
These externally created assessments have created serious problems in our schools. District leadership and administrators bully teachers and students into engaging in teaching and learning activities just for the sake of doing well on these assessments. Students tune out curriculum that is based on outputs like test scores, rather than tuning in to inputs like passion and interest. In an effort to appease the ever-menacing accountability monster, some administrators and teachers put their licenses on the line and cheat. We get these products because assessment is no longer something we do, but rather something that is done to us. Read the rest of this entry »