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State Testing in Alabama

I have seen so many things lately about standardized testing-most are negative- and feel sorry for the states or the districts that are placing SO MUCH emphasis on the state testing.

I have to say that our state super, Dr. Tommy Bice, is leading our state (Alabama) in an AWESOME direction.

Will we have standardized tests? Yes. Will we stop instruction and practice for the test? No. Will we get stressed out about the tests? No. Will we try our best on the tests? Yes. Will we spend 2 weeks testing? No.

Do you see why I’m happy? 🙂

My 6th graders will only be taking tests for TWO days at the end of this month. 1 hour on each day.

Happy dance…………..

Now there’s always going to be something to question. Like why it might take until September 1st to get our results back. Or will we REALLY use the data for our instruction. And is my evaluation going to be tied to the student test SCORES or student GROWTH.

BUT overall I’m happy at this point.

Does that mean I’m not nervous? Well, yeah I’m nervous about how my 6th graders are going to perform on this test-the ACT Aspire. Why? Because they are aligned to the new standards, and the new standards are RIGOROUS and TOUGH. My kids aren’t used to this level of thinking. I’ve tried this year, I really have. And they are a great bunch of kids, and have made lots of progress with their thinking. But the reality is that it just sort of got dumped on them mid-way through their school career. And it’s been difficult.

Have I taught everything exactly like I was supposed to? Probably not. Have I tried? Definitely. Will I improve? Most certainly. Will they improve? Without a doubt.

It’s nice to know that even thought the test scores that come back from this test will say a lot about the kids, and they will say a lot about me, but they won’t DEFINE us forever. They will just give us a starting point, a baseline to work with.

And that’s what we all want. Right? Data to help drive what we do.

I can’t wait to get behind the steering wheel next year……………….. 🙂

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