This is the second time I’ve written this post, and not because I enjoy doing things twice. But in the short window of time that my editor worked through my first draft, a group of six-year-olds shredded my hypothesis. I’ve never been so happy to be wrong.
Let me explain. Yesterday, a dear friend posted something on Facebook that drew me in. Now a first grade teacher, she taught my own twin boys in preschool and wowed me with her ideas, insights, and ability to be an effective communicator with both 4 year olds and their adults. But with her post, I suddenly had a bone to pick: “How’s this for honest?! My teacher friends can relate, I’m sure… week before report cards AND AIMSweb = assessment city! Poor kids : (“
Then she added a photo of what greeted her students as they entered the room that day: “Dear friends, Guess what we are doing today….that’s right, more testing! Do you like taking tests?” (followed by the option to indicate ‘Yes’ or ‘No’)
As a believer in the power of data to refine and personalize instruction and also someone who is perhaps a bit weary of the pushback on assessments, I assumed this question had been designed as a big old “No” magnet. How many little (or big) people would endorse the taking of tests? This, I felt, was not the right question, because the intention of assessment is not to take tests, but rather to get feedback. Continue reading