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April 1, 2017

Linda M. Penn

    Hope that Spring Break has gone well for you and your kids!  Are you ready for accountability tests?

    In looking back at my previous Blogs about standardized testing, I found I may not have given accountability tests a fair shake.  DO I NEED AN ATTITUDE CHANGE?

    As an elementary public school teacher who just started my career in the mid-80’s, accountability testing had real meaning.  If students had performed poorly throughout the year and on the end-of-the-year tests, they were given the opportunity for summer school remediation or repeat a grade. 

    However, then came state testing based on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) standards and there were tests, tests, and more tests thrust upon the students throughout the year to prepare them for the ‘biggie’ end-of-the-year tests.  The accountability was more on the school and teacher, and not the individual student.  Summer school remediation for the kids?  What was that?  Summers meant more teacher meetings on ‘teaching the test’ so the school, county, and state would appear to be achieving success.

    Today, there is the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which was passed in 2015 to replace the NCLB.  Betsy DeVos, the current U.S. Secretary of Education has notified state school officers to keep developing their ESSA plans.  Apparently, the ESSA keeps some testing but shifts focus away from the high-stakes type testing of NCLB.   

    EVERYONE WHO IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE FUTURE OF OUR WORLD needs to be more aware and informed about the type of testing for our kids.  My research (see below) revealed to me there is a focus now on various types of assessments thoughout the school year and not just end-of-the-year tests.  Specific needs for each individual student are made more evident to teachers.

    OKAY, I WILL TRY TO HAVE A CHANGED ATTITUDE ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY TESTS!  So…teachers, parents, students, and legislators, let’s all try to be positive.  Let’s give our teachers and students an extra shout-out and encouraging words at this time of year.  Also, please check out my Blog from April 1, 2016, “Test Takers – Help for the Frightened.”

    Since I am retired and not active in the classroom, would love to have your feedback about the ESSA.

    Come back the first week of May for next Blog – “Focus on Relationships – NOT Achievements.” 




Gallup.com “Testing that Benefits Students” by Brandon Busteed and Jonathan Rodkin, May 5, 2016 Blog.

Wikipedia.org. “Every Student Succeeds Act,” last page modified February 26, 2017.

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Accountability test is important to determine if the student learns in this school and then to know also if this school is teaching very well and attaining the requirements. It is important for both students and the school to help them improve and know if what they are doing is enough for success. Some students may think that this is not really necessary. But the truth is, this can be a way for them to open their eyes and see what they are and what they want to be in the future.

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