The Norman Transcript

Features

May 30, 2014

How to stop testing madness

NORMAN — Q: The state-mandated testing this year seemed more grueling to my kids than ever before. As parents, what can we do to stop the madness?

—Jamie and Tyler, of Norman

Dear Jamie and Tyler,

You are preaching to the proverbial choir. State testing has turned into a huge beast that takes up way too much instructional time. It also displaces computer classes because the tests are now computerized. In our opinion, it could easily be streamlined and not cost the state nearly what it does now.

At the high school level, students are given the PLAN during their sophomore year. Some schools also give the PSAT to this same group. The majority of kids will take the ACT as they prepare for college.

All of these tests can already be used for alternate scores — providing they are within a predetermined score range — should the student get either an unsatisfactory or a limited-knowledge score on an end of instruction test. This is just one example of how things could be done a little more efficiently … again, our opinion.

Always feel as though you can contact your senator or House of Representatives delegate. They make the laws, so that’s a pretty good place to start.

The state threatens to withhold funding to the districts if they don’t comply, so complaining to your individual building principal or upper-level administrators won’t really accomplish anything. Start at the top.

Private schools are not subjected to testing and, somehow, those students are still successful. We hope you can rally others to support the cause.

Dear Readers,

As another school year comes to a close, we want to urge you to help your students keep their educational skills sharp over the summer. With technology today, there are so many applications, computer programs and websites available that this shouldn’t be a problem.

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