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Kim Eschler- High-Stake Testing Wk 5

Kim Eschler- High-Stake Testing Wk 5

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Published by: Kim Eschler on May 11, 2012
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High-Stakes TestingKim Eschler EDU315May 10, 2012Stephan Burnside
High-Stakes TestingTests such as standardized tests and high school exit examinations with soledetermining factors in decision-making are known as high-stakes testing. Covered inthis paper will be the overview of testing in Utah, three issues with high-stakes testingand how I would deal with the issues in my classroom.
High-Stakes Testing
The state of Utah uses U-Tips for academic standard testing. Testing includeslanguage art of second through eleventh grade, mathematics second grade throughhigh school, and science grades fourth thought high school. The tests are Criterion-references Tests (CRT’s) and are carefully aligned with the Utah State Core andcurrently being rewritten for the incoming Common Core. Additional tests administeredin Utah are Direct Writing Assessment (DWA) a writing test for grades six and nine.Utah Basic Skills Competency Test used as the graduation exam covering math,reading comprehension. Writing for grades ten through twelve and for students withsignificant cognitive disabilities on an IEP there is the Utah Alternate Assessment (UAA)available in language arts and math for first through twelfth grade and science fourththrough twelfth grade. Norm-referenced tests are administered to third, fifth, and eighthgraders across Utah each year for a national comparison by way of the Iowa Tests.
My fist issue with high-stakes testing is special needs students. According to, NoChild Left Behind (NCLB), students are expected to be proficient in math, literacy, andlanguage arts (at least 95%) by 2014. When the bill was created only 1% of studentswould be allowed to take an alternative test. That was later increased to 3%, but that
still leaves approximately 75% of special needs students to take the same test as their peers (Webster, n.d.). These tests upset and cause stress to students who find it harder than their peers to perform in school daily but to be accountable to testing the same canbe unnerving. In my classroom I would work closely with my special education liaisongiving extra attention, worksheets, and support to students to become more comfortablewith the test materials. I would also encourage my students to relax, find ways to dealwith test anxiety, and reward all with intrinsic and extrinsic motivations.My second issue with high-states testing is learners rushing through the testsbecause there is no accountability to the student. Tests being hurried through,questions left blank, and test stamina are all concerns during the administration of thetesting. At this time NCLB does not have any elements to hold a student accountable,and the scores do not come back for months, at which time students are advanced tothe next grade. Because there is no built-in accountability to learners regarding the test,in my classroom I will create accountability from the first of school by way that eachchild has pride in school work, pushing themselves to do his or her best. I will also usethe techniques previously mentioned about relaxing, test anxiety, and motivation.My third issue with high-states testing is the lack of balance in information. Onetest, over a day to two days cannot possibly demonstrate a student’s completeknowledge. I believe the evaluation of individual students should include in classperformance, interviews, observation, projects, and classwork. Additionally, studentswho live in apartments, military, or for other reasons move often, known as transientstudents, can make a large difference in year to year scores. Holding a teacher or aschool accountable for students who come, test, and leave, does not give a genuine

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