Testing is Over… Now What?
Last week, Texas schools began the testing season… testing 4th and 7th Writing, 5th and 8th Math and Reading, English I and English II. With the exception of the Writing assessments, all other tests given last week are considered “SSI” (Student Success Initiative). In the state of Texas, SSI grades and subjects are those assessments that students must pass in order to be promoted to the next grade level. Needless to say, these areas become very important on a campus. Regardless of our opinions of high-stakes tests, our students must pass in order to continue to the next grade… and in high school, they must pass in order to graduate; therefore, we tend to organize classes and small groups based on student levels. The first round of testing is over… now what?
TEACH. Remember, we do not teach to a test, we teach for learning. Just because the test is over doesn’t mean teaching and learning come to a screeching halt. Continue small groups and make sure you continue to focus on all students (from the struggling student to the gifted student). All students must continue to grow.
The best thing you can do for your teaching staff and students is to remain constant with your expectation that learning occurs during this time. There is roughly a month and a half left of school. We are robbing our students of an education if we stop teaching now.
What do you do on your campus or in your classroom to ensure learning continues after state testing has concluded?
Paula Patterson is a former principal who shares practical points on the principalship.