Too Much SBAC Testing Pressure on Young Children!

Filed in Uncategorized by on May 22, 2017 0 Comments

by Mila Wood




Helping parents and teachers navigate the ugly federal ed reforms is rarely ever filled with sunshine and sugar cookies. Instead, it’s filled with frustrated parents, sad, crying kiddos and some school administrators that refuse to acknowledge parental rights. So, after weeks of dealing with this—in my unpaid, spare time – in a moment when I should be happy and relaxed because of the success of my student athletes in our state tournament, I received a very sad email from a teacher who needs to remain anonymous. Yes, anonymous, because they have been told there will be legal punishments if they are caught discussing the SBAC/ISAT or Common Core in a negative manner with parents. Can you say “stranger danger?”


Keep in mind that the SBAC test disrupts class time for everyone, not just the testing classes, because teachers cannot proctor their own students. Test windows usually last multiple weeks. So, how much learning actually goes on while kids are shuffled and sorted in order to give the state the test data that it desires? Read a portion of the very sad email I received the other night at 7 pm below. Now imagine that was your little 3rd grader. How successful do think she feels? How did she perform on the test after being moved into a totally different classroom to finish, separate from her grade classmates? Successful? Happy? I’m guessing not.


Is this the type of test that Butch Otter, and Tom Luna wanted for our little kids? I would guess so, since they signed on the dotted lines every single time. When parents hear that teachers are hard to find, it’s not just about their low wages or their benefits, especially compared to their administration and IT co-workers, it’s stuff like this: Being forced to watch little kids being tormented by an unreasonably long test, having their classrooms interrupted to perform like a circus animal to the tune of non-educators while kids are crying, upset and feeling frustrated. Welcome to the new “college and career ready” world. I think we can all agree this exercise was certainly “rigorous.”


( I had to change/delete parts for anonymity)

A local 3rd grader on Tuesday spent an entire day (3 1/2 hours before lunch and 3 1/2 hours after lunch) trying to finish the English portion of the SBAC/ISAT test. This was her second day of testing as she had worked the day before for 3 1/2 hours on it in the afternoon – and failed to finish. That’s right around 12 hours for one out of four parts of the test.


The teacher said in her email, ” I was proctoring a xxxxx grade class because of course the state doesn’t trust us to proctor our own class. I won’t even go into how that made me feel because it was pretty depressing to watch the kids work as hard as they did knowing that it means very little.”


“And results for the math portion, which included typed answers and paragraphs that the kids wrote, came back this week. In order to have results that fast they have to be scoring almost all of them using the automated computer score. I found the document on the website that shows how they trained the computer to use psychometrics to score the written responses. So our kids spent all that time and effort writing all these wonderful essays that no human will ever see.”


Did you catch that? The written math portion? What if you are a bad writer? Does that make you bad at math? Now add to that that Artificial Intelligence will be assessing your kiddos’ 12-hour test. Have any of you had the AI on your phone auto-correct a text? Would you want those texts to be stored forever in your data backpack as evidence of your personal worth? Ya, me neither.


Parents need to refuse this test. It is still invalid and unreliable – in other words, it does not test what it says it tests, nor is it accurate in what it is actually testing! Luckily for this little girl, spending 12 hours of her life to perform or not perform well will be documented forever in her data backpack. What does it say? Well, I wish I could tell you – her parents will never know because they have NO access.


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