Although the official testing window opens in a little more than 2 weeks, we are now in crunch time mode. Regardless of your feelings on the subject of standardized testing, the one thing that I find ludicrous is the timing of the testing. I have already had students suggest that we "don't do anything" after the FCAT (Florida's version of the standardized test). There is almost a full grading period left and some students are preparing for shut down mode. How nuts is THAT?
I have heard the reasoning: "There is not enough time to get grading completed so that student will get there scores for class placement." "There is not enough time to complete the grading for school accountability grades." "There is not enough time...." My rebuttal is simply that to have a student take a test without a full year of instruction is counter-productive. Benchmark testing and other pre-test measures are squeezed into a very short time frame. This further takes away from instructional time. I think that everyone wants students to succeed.
So, why not put the pressure where it belongs? On the graders. As more of the testing has moved to the computer based model, this should make it even easier to meet deadlines. (Of course, once the next phase--PARCC--arrives, I suspect that grading will become even more complex, and more delayed). Would you expect to take a driver's test when you are 3/4 through Driver's Ed? Would you expect to take a CPA exam when you have only reviewed 3/4 of the material? The examples are endless.
I have moved into teaching after over 30 years in banking and finance. I recognize that there are shortcomings in the "system." Unfortunately, it appears that the remedy may actually be worse than the disease.