Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Assessment Tests

Yesterday at the Hebrew school where I teach, the students were given an assessment test. It is basically the same test given to all the students in the school, third grade through sixth grade, to see what they know, what they have learned and their weaknesses.

I was helping out in one of the classrooms yesterday and I was talking with the teacher before class got started. She indicated that she thought this was poor timing for the test but understood that it has to be done within the next couple of weeks before the Passover break. She also indicated that she felt at one time it was too confusing and now it was watered down as they were only asking the students to identify 10 different letters to get a feel on how well they knew the entire Hebrew alphabet.

I came at this from a slightly different point of view. I asked the teacher if the test was going to tell her anything she did not already know about the students. She thought for a moment and acknowledged it would not. I understand the need for tests and assessments. I understand the need to have a measuring stick. Still, I think, in this case, where the teachers should know their kids, it is unnecessary.

I guess it does give the office a supposedly objective measure so they can check up on both students and teachers but I am not convinced, in this case, it is necessary or even a good thing.

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