Thursday, March 29, 2012

Testing vs. Instruction

One of the main complaints that I've gotten from teachers about testing is that there is now so much of it that it cuts, significantly, into instructional time.

And one (teacher) friend wrote to me, only partially tongue-in-cheek,

One idea that I also had, is why not test on weekends?  That way they wouldn't have to require that teachers take away class time for proctoring--they could even hire non-teachers as proctors!  It could be a whole new employment opportunity for our depressed economy. . . but I am most serious about instructional time being given back to us for TEACHING and LEARNING, and leave the testing for outside of the regular school calendar.

And that could be good for another reason (the subject of a blog post very soon, I promise)--it would make it much easier for parents to opt out of testing.


  1. From today's Free Press:


  2. This is interesting. I imagine if they can work out some of the financial issues and federal approval issues this could become a reality.

  3. Holy cow! A computerized adaptive test given twice a year with immediate results, to replace the MEAP. Now the administration REALLY needs to get rid of the NWEA MAP test... Sounds like something similar is going to be mandated very soon. So let's just scrap it.

  4. I was just wondering when I read about this computer test. Do the schools have enough computers to test large (very large) groups of students at one time? This sounds like a scheduling nightmare.

  5. That varies by school district. Some do, many do not. However, I understand that the legislature is also thinking about replacing "best practice" grants with "technology" grants (it won't end up being more money for the schools though)--maybe that is intended to address that? Bottom line, if they don't give the schools more money, schools will not be able to have enough computers to do this, I would think. (Even if Ann Arbor passes a technology bond, that will not be an option for most school districts.) Ultimately, though, the savings with computerized testing come for the state on the back end. Right now they have to pay a lot of graders; with a computerized test they wouldn't need to.