Here we go again. Yet another round of standardized testing. We’re almost done with them. One today (reading), one next week (math) and then, NO MORE! At least not for this year.
So what does this mean for my kiddos? Well, truthfully, not a whole lot. At least not for most of them. It does mean that they’re tired of testing. It also means that some of them are losing their enthusiasm (if they ever had any) for taking these tests. This overkill translates into kids who just don’t want to do it, and therefore aren’t prepared to invest the mental energy that doing their best entails.
And really, why should they?
Yes, everyone should always do their best. Or maybe they should usually do their best. Don’t they have to have something, some mental energy, left over for the pursuits of life that truly interest them? Why burn myself out on this test when I’d rather finish it and go back to the awesome book I’ve been reading? I’ll just answer these last few questions quickly… I’m sure I’m doing well, after all I took my time on the first half of the test…
When we do something too often it loses its power. Imagine having a birthday party once a month. It would lose some of its luster. Well, it’s the same with testing. Standardized testing used to be a BIG DEAL. Unfortunately for us, it’s become an even bigger deal for adults (whose job performance ratings are often associated with these outcomes), and more or less no big deal for kids, who have done so many of these it’s hard to keep count.
Yes, kids, I want you to do your best.
Yes, kids, this one counts.
No, don’t worry, you’re still going on to the next grade level.
No, it’s not going on your report card.
But it COUNTS. Really.
Please just do your best, but know that I love you and I understand if you just don’t have it in you today. I know you’ve learned a lot this year, whether this test shows it or not.