Recently The Times featured two excellent articles, one by The Times editorial staff, the other by teacher Ms. Gleneva Dunham. Both articles addressed the negative ramifications of Indiana's standardized testing for the teaching and learning process.
Having taught middle school for over 40 years, I am confident that most teachers would agree these tests have been an unacceptable waste of time and money. Year after year, we have given various versions of these tests because we had to, not because we thought they were an effective way of evaluating a student or teacher, much less an entire building.
Teachers, using various assessments, are continuously evaluating their students throughout the year. If elected officials feel some sort of standardized test is necessary, let the teachers in each district develop one. It would certainly be a more valid representation of what their students should know compared to the tests which have been developed by the state. Teachers have enough to do without having to take time out to prepare students for a standardized test which often does not reflect what they feel their students should know.
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More and more, today's students come to our classrooms with significant needs teachers are expected to meet. Preparing for a standardized test should not be given the priority it has on this list of needs.
Jim Martz, Valparaiso