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Careful what you wish for



Hi. I teach second grade, and our school district has just announced that standardized tests will no longer be given in first and second grades. As much as we have complained and dreaded testing, now that it's out of the picture I'm wondering if that's such a great idea. I WOULD like to know if my students have made any measurable progress. We have "high stakes" testing in fourth grade, so they will only have their third grade year's experience to go into it with. The justification for cutting out testing in lower grades is that it will save hundreds of thousand of dollars. Do you think that means we'll get pay raises??????

Any thoughts, pro or con, in regard to lower grade testing?


Senior Member
We eliminated the standardized tests for first and second grades starting last year. Ours were just the standard achievement test (forget which one), but you can still see the progess by looking at your classroom grades.

Our district's rationalization was that we would take the DIBELS tests, so thats nice for reading, but we don't have any concreate standard data for math except for the classroom tests (which are standardized).

The high stakes testing here in PA starts in third grade, soo...


Testing first and second

graders is totally nuts. I'm glad to hear it's being eliminated in places. Don't confuse standardized test scores with measures of learning. Your own authentic assessments tell you far more about what your kids know than some standardized test ever could. Six and seven year old kids should not be subjected to that. If you buy into the logic that a standardized test score is a good, reliable measure of a child, then you're falling for all the NCLB garbage.


Senior Member
it's insane

My last district started benchmarking the kids in Kindergarten. At least they waited until 2nd semester (January) to do so. It was an authentic testing situation. Sit at your desks and be silent. The kids freaked out. I teach middle school and have the state test hanging over my head all year. To be told that my kindergarten daughter doesn't test well puts fear into me. Third graders, 5th graders, and in two years, 8th graders have to pass state reading and math tests to move on to the next grade.

This testing mania is insane. I don't believe young children should be put in that situation, but they do need to be prepared, in my state at least, for that all important 3rd grade state test. They're expected to pass it the first time they've ever been subjected to the official test or else they might not get to 4th grade.


Senior Member
I think it's a terrible idea to expose young kids to high stakes testing. Including my fourth graders, several of whom went home and reported to parents that they "failed" and were "stupid" after taking a New York State reading test. It set back months of hard work we did on raising their motivation and self esteem about learning.


testing...testing 123

Wow interesting respones! I never really thought NOT testing was something that was done anywhere. I figured it was just my district finding yet another way to cut costs and cut corners....lol. The test we have always given is the IOWA test, which is norm refereced. I never really considered it something that measured my kids so much as something that measured me. It feels kinda like I'm going to school all year, but not getting a report card at the end.


Senior Member
Testing Kindergarteners

Second semester that is great we start the first month of school testing. We do the KRAL (kindergarten readiness assessment of litteracy) and KIP. In a way I need to know what the kiddos know coming in.