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INTERESTING CCSS INFO: Some of the main Common Core contributors and supporters state in this article that we SHOULD NOT TEST STUDENTS ANYMORE THAN 3 TIMES IN A STUDENT’S EDUCATIONAL CAREER. Testing and assessments have been a controversial issue with or without Common Core. Most teachers and students in our county have seen testing INCREASE since the implementation of Common Core. Makes you wonder about the driving forces of Common Core. Many people cannot understand that the government has a LOT of control in the way of education in this country.

Federal law dictates that schools test their students at least once a year. Marc Tucker and Linda Darling Hammond state in this article that we should NOT test kids that many times. The reason I bring this up is so that we can understand who is behind the decisions that have been dropped all over us, and here again, it is the government. Whether we like or don’t like, agree with or do not agree with these individuals, we have to be willing to see that not everything coming down the pipes is from these individuals.

In the article, they also discuss how teachers are impacted by these high stakes tests. While one would like to believe holding them accountable would make them work harder, the opposite is actually true. They discuss how this depresses student performance. I would say a happy teacher = a successful student. If you put out their fires, how will our kids have a light that guides them. Teachers are crucial in our students achievement. Too many tests will not = strong teacher accountability or student achievement.

Read this article and see what you think.

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/top_performers/2013/10/testing_and_esea_reauthorization_the_moment_of_truth.html

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“Teachers teach what is measured. This is especially true when accountability systems are used in which student performance has strong consequences for teachers. The United States now has the strongest such system in the world. The United States is also addicted to cheap tests that do a poor job of measuring the kinds of higher order thinking skills and in-depth command of subject matter most needed in high wage economies like the United States. The more pressure we put on teachers to produce high student performance on these tests, the more likely it is that we will depress performance on the very skills they most need. Other countries whose students perform at much higher levels than ours use more expensive, higher quality tests that are capable of testing the kinds of knowledge and skills that our students need to be successful under current global economic conditions. We could be using such tests, but cannot afford to do so under current federal law, because that law requires our schools to test students every year. The top-performing countries test only two or three times in the course of student’s whole career in school. If we did that, our states and districts could afford much better tests at no increase in total cost. Our conclusion: The next version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) should require the use of tests that do a much better job of measuring higher order thinking skills, including the ability to apply knowledge to unfamiliar problems, and, at the same time, should require accountability testing no more than three times in a student’s career, thereby freeing up funds to purchase the high quality tests the country so urgently needs.”

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