Evaluation and Assessment

Teaching toward the State Test

The more I find myself in the classroom, the more stress I see on teachers when they talk about State Testing. I find that most school districts evaluate their teachers on numerous criteria but really focus on the scores of their students when they take the state test. My question I am asking is, how do you focus on "teaching towards the test" but also include information you think the students will benefit from while not making it feel like the students are overwhelmed with so much science? 

Sarah Pack
Sarah Pack
244 Activity Points

In our era of accountability, teaching toward the test has become the norm in many science classrooms. While it's important for students to understand the information that will be on state exams, it is also important for them to understand the real world connections and applications of the science content. I think this also helps them feel less overwhelmed with science because it gives them the relevance they need to grasp the concepts.

Shannon Navy
Shannon Dubois
1029 Activity Points

It’s unfortunate that we’ve build a national culture focused so heavily on high-stakes testing that provides only the narrowest of “snapshots” about what a student actually knows and is able to do. Such as it is, this is our reality.

I have always said, and continue to believe, that achievement on a state test is one of many byproducts of quality Tier 1 teaching. If we stay focused on what we want kids to learn, make sure that aligns to what our state standards ask us to teach kids, and have a valid and reliable large-scale assessment that measures that, when we shouldn’t have to focus on the test too much. That’s the goal, anyhow. Like with anything teaching-related: easier said than done.


Tyler Britt
Tyler Britt
495 Activity Points

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