The Lab Rat, Guinea Pig, and the Student

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What do all the above have in common? Innocent victims or willing participants, right? As we enter the high-stakes testing season, be mindful of our youngsters that must undergo these assessments that determine if learning took place for the whole year or semester.

As I blogged before, teaching methods have changed over the decades, but standardized testing has not. Call these tests a necessary evil if you wish. In order to hold teachers accountable these tests are needed to generate data. As you know data is very valuable and has its own language. Data is used for research to improve education.

Continuing to embrace these days of testing anxiety that we all have experienced in the past, we can feel empathetic for all of our furry adolescent testing subjects.

Cannot make a race horse out of a mule

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A few years ago after sitting in a staff meeting, all teachers were charged with the expectation for pushing all students to excel in their high stakes exam called the End-of-Grade assessment. I happened to overhear a veteran teacher proclaim what was instructed in the above title of this blog post. IMHO, that statement reflects a great sense of negativity, therefore I feel that this is an unfair statement to say about any student that is capable of demonstrating academic excellence.

May is upon us now, and all teachers are in test preparation mode. Teachers have to break out of the habit of teaching to the test which they have been accustomed to over the NCLB years. Race horses are built for endurance and trained all their lives to be number one. So do you think there is any truth to this veteran’s statement? Please share your thoughts.

Finally! Some Very Valuable Training!

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I hate to say it. As educators, we go to a plethora of trainings, workshops, meetings, sessions, conferences, seminars, etc… where we struggle to stay awake and learn as we expect our students.

However today I received access and training on a web-based product by SAS® called EVAAS™ (Education Value-Added Assessment System).  I learned that this tool has the capability to target students providing projected scores on our state’s high stakes testing instrument called the EOG (End-Of-Grade) assessment for the elementary & middle schools and EOC (End-Of-Course) assessment for high schools.

NC DPI provides additional information about EVAAS here on their website.