My older two boys are on day two of their end of grade (EOG) standardized tests.
I’m not a huge fan of the tests. They’re l-o-n-g and so much emphasis is placed on the tests. In third grade, you either pass the reading part of the test or you can be retained in third grade (though there are some other measures in place that a child can pass instead, but the EOG score is definitely looked at very carefully).
Talk of EOGs starts early in the school year and is referred to what seems like all of the time.
Testing is just two or three days out of the entire school year so it seems like what the kids do the other 170+ days of the school year should be more important. If a child has been getting good grades all year and doing well on other more personalized assessments, that’s what should hold more weight. Yet, that’s not the way that it often feels.
On the actual day of testing, a child can be sick or stressed out or any number of things that can affect their test scores.
Test questions can be skewed for different demographics. I’ve seen questions that I know my child on the autism spectrum would answer differently than another kid because of the way he thinks about things.
I get bothered by the “choose the best answer” questions where there’s another answer choice that isn’t actually wrong, it’s just not the best answer.
Yet, we don’t opt out, as I’ve seen friends at other schools do.
I’m not even sure how the opt out process works in our state. I think it’s just keeping your child out of school on the days of testing and on the make-up days more than making an official declaration that you’re opting out.
Because as much as I don’t think standardized tests should have so much emphasis placed on them, they’re still a measure of how our kids are doing.
It’s not a perfect measuring stick.
But nothing really is. You could find something wrong with anything used to evaluate our kids.
Even their grades. Because every child isn’t given the exact same instruction or work from their teachers. Some teachers are tougher graders than others. What might be an A student over in this classroom at this school could be a B or C student over at that school with that teacher.
Opting out of the tests wouldn’t change the instruction that my kids are receiving because their school would still be giving the test. My kids wouldn’t be put over here in a bubble where the tests aren’t mentioned and the curriculum is changed.
Sure, they wouldn’t have the stress of the actual test days.
And they’d probably feel like they were getting away with something, not having to take the tests that everyone else does. Would it then make them think they weren’t still going to be held accountable for what they do need to learn?
I don’t know… I have to do plenty of things that I don’t particularly like, things that stress me out, things that make me roll my eyes, things that I might not agree with. But, I still have to do them.
I’ve heard the argument that if we all opt out, maybe things will change(like I’ve heard that if you don’t like the two Presidential candidates, everyone should abstain from voting). Yet, somehow, I’m just not buying it. Schools are always going to be looking for some way to assess student learning(and someone is going to show up at the polls and someone is still going to be elected President).
So, while I respect those who chose to opt out of standardized testings and while I’m not a fan of the tests either, my kids do still take them.