This Friday will mark the end of the testing season here at Lincoln Elementary. Since the middle of February we will have had only four weeks where our students have not had some sort of state testing. I fully understand the need for accountability and measurement of student progress, but as I see our students around the building they continually say one thing "When are we done testing?"
I want our building to be alive. I don't want our students confined to their desks or rooms. I hate the silence that the testing season brings to our halls. Our students want to be engaged and we have spent a lot of time and energy to integrate inquiry as the basis of our instruction. Our students want to ask questions and find answers to the those questions. They want to take what they have learned and apply it. Students want to move around and work with each other. Students want to talk.
The amount of testing we ask our students to do gets in the way of authentic learning. It takes the fun out of school. I am glad we are nearing the end of the testing season. We will have two weeks to light that fire again before our students take off for the summer. If we are not careful students will leave elementary school thinking school is boring and nothing but tests. If we truly want to raise achievement of all students it is simple - increase engagement. Tests are not engaging, tests are long and boring. I can't wait for the testing to be done so we can have some noise in the building - it has been too quiet for too long!!