Standardized Testing Week...

Here we go again.  My students are taking a standardized 'end of the year' test this week with 30% of our school year remaining.  Isn't this a little like deciding on a winner at the end of the 3rd quarter of a football game? CTB-McGraw Hill employees will choose 50 questions from the ancient-to-present history, geography, government, and economics of Africa, Asia, Australia, and the entire Pacific region.  How can 50 questions possible evaluate that massive body of knowledge in a valid way?  How could 500 questions?  Even if they chose great questions (which they usually don't), which magically evaluate the accumulated content knowledge of my students it would still be an act of futility. 

What we learn in my class is more than content knowledge.  I am trying to inspire a love for learning, an appreciation for social studies, an interest in the world, and an understanding that we are all citizens of the world.  I think this will be much more valuable in the future.  Facts will be forgotten.  How much do you remember from 7th grade social studies?  Intrigue will last forever. How can use measure that?

Wabash Middle School always outscored the surrounding schools, despite a lower socioeconomic status, but I just resent that this test is the lone public measurement of everything I do as an educator and everything my kids have learned.  All the hours, the creativity, the professional development, the late nights, the extra time with students, $1,300.00 in charity money per year--it all comes down to a single number--(__) percent passing.  I feel like my class is so far beyond this test, but I am still anchored to it.  I honestly feel like I'm  taking my driver's license test with a horse and buggy.

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