Last week I listed the schedule of upcoming tests our students will work through this spring. This week, I learned that educators with civil rights and education groups launched a Testing Bill of Rights at TestBetter.org. The “Testing Bill of Rights” describes a middle ground on these assessments so that they are used to support instruction, provide parents with a measure of whether their student is performing at grade level and allow teachers to know how to help their students.
“This effort aims to help move toward better, fairer and fewer tests and to make testing more useful and less burdensome for parents, students and educators. It arrives at an opportune moment for states and school districts to revisit their approaches to testing, as many parents and students have felt real frustration with tests in recent years. At the same time, the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, preserves annual tests but also greatly reduces the stakes of state tests for schools and teachers.”
Laura Bay, President of the National PTA commented, “National PTA is pleased to support the Testing Bill of Rights to make sure assessment systems are improved and that parents and families are a part of this process.” Read the full Bill of Rights and decide for yourself whether this makes sense.
We are entering spring testing season – for PVES that is April 19th though the end of May. Our students will be taking some combination of the following assessments: MAPS, SBA (CASSP), CST, Physical Fitness and Healthy Kids tests.
- MAPS -All grades
- PUSD assessment of Math and English Language Arts
- provides Lexile score.
- Coordinates with Compass Learning levels
- SBA/CAASP – grades 3-5
- This is the CA common core test
- sample test available
- keyboarding skills are important for performance sections of Math and ELA
- CST – 5th grade only
- First time science learning is assessed for elementary school
- last part of STAR tests (No Child Left Behind)
- Physical fitness – 5th grade, six areas of physical fitness
- CA Healthy Kids– 5th grade, overall well-being assessments by survey of student
Oh and in case you thought your 5th grader had enough to think about right before Spring Break, don’t forget the much anticipated hygiene talk on April 8th (Parents can preview the video on March 29th at 2pm).
In all seriousness, take a look at some of the links to get more resources to help you better understand the goals for each set of tests. The results of these assessments provide essential data that will be used by our teachers, staff and administration to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of education our children receive. As parents, our jobs will be to make sure they eat well, get rest, and practice their keyboarding skills!