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Tucson Teacher: Kids returning to school for tests, tests and more tests
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Tucson Teacher: Kids returning to school for tests, tests and more tests

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The following is the opinion and analysis of the writer:

Is one of the reasons that schools are reopening for all students so that they can take state and district tests?

Here’s what fourth quarter will be like for my third-grade students: When they all return Wednesday, March 24, we will use that early-out day to review procedures and routines and adjust them based on twice as many students in the classroom.

I will reengage students who have not been together as a whole class yet this school year.

On Thursday and Friday of that week, we’ll do as much math, writing, reading, science and social studies as we can because the following week it’s time to prepare for AzM2 Tests, the latest version of the AzMerit Tests.

During the week of March 29, I will teach some lessons, review for state tests and share test formatting and tools of the state tests since third graders have never taken them.

On Monday, April 5, my students will take the Writing Test. I will use the rest of that week for more review, more sharing of test formatting and tools, and some teaching.

During the week of April 12, my students will take four state tests, Parts 1 and 2 of the Math Test and Parts 1 and 2 of the Reading Test. Not much teaching will happen.

Then, there is one week with no test preparation and no tests! That’s the week of April 19.

During the week of April 26, my students will take two MAP Tests, and during the week of May 3, my students will take two i-Ready Tests.

Somewhere, during those six weeks, I also need to DRA my students (another test, administered one-on-one).

During the week of May 10, I get one more uninterrupted week of teaching, although it’s the last full week of school by then. We conclude third grade with the Fabulous Final Four (School) Days of Fun.

Wait, is one of the reasons that all students are returning to schools NOT so that they can take state and district tests? Is one of the reasons to support students’ social-emotional well-being?

Would district staff please explain how having third grade students take 10 state and district tests during the fourth quarter of school is good for their mental health or appropriate for them?

Is one of the reasons that schools are reopening for all students so that teachers can engage them with lessons which span several days or weeks? Do you see the impracticality of that happening?

How shall I explain to my students why they have to take so many tests? Telling them to show what you know and do your best might not carry them through 10 tests.

District third graders will not be the only students involved in this quantity of testing, but they are the youngest. I am not optimistic that a test will be eliminated but wishful.

My students deserve a more meaningful ONLY quarter of all students in our classroom experience; all students do.

Darlene Rowe teaches third grade at Coronado K-8 School in the Amphitheater Public Schools district.


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