A bill requiring ISTEP testing to move to the Spring has advanced forward in the Indiana legislature.
I'll admit, testing students at the end of the school year seems logical to most people. Aren't most tests given at the end of the instruction? Well, it depends on whether the goal is to rank and rate schools or whether the goal is to help students learn? Let me put it in medical terms. They can't decide whether to give the patient an autopsy or a diagnostic exam.
Currently the fall tests are supposed to help staff make adjustments and reteach students who have problems on the tests. The problem is the results are so slow returning that very little remediation is really done on the basis of the results.
I would like to see a relatively short computerized assessment given in the fall, accompanied by another assessment in the spring to assess growth. This could be combined with a state requirement for each school district to have it's own writing assessment program in place. This would spare much of the expense of hiring state wide readers to handle the scoring.
The diagnostic test is given in the fall, and the autopsy (excuse the gruesome metaphor) is given in the spring. The writing samples can be handled internally based on statewide criteria.
After having said all that, my chief wish is that they would quit using us for a political football and allow our teachers time to adjust to all the changes.
The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.
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