Letter of the Day (April 18): Student testing

  • Updated: April 17, 2013 - 7:51 PM

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I agree with Gov. Mark Dayton’s plan to scrap the MCA test (“Capitol seeks a timeout on GRAD tests,” April 17). It’s not that I think that students shouldn’t be tested, but we test, and then we test again … and again. The MCA is a high-stakes test — a remnant of No Child Left Behind. If you don’t pass it, you don’t graduate. Yet it’s just one measurement.

Many are not aware that each state has its own testing standards and that many have opted for a much easier version of the one we give. And the Legislature has seen fit, in the past, to keep raising the bar by which students must pass. Talk about moving the goalposts on the football field.

What I dislike most about the test is that it does not necessarily measure students’ abilities in the subject area, but rather their abilities to test. Many of my honors students have said they’d do better on the math test, but that they are worn out about halfway through and just start filling in answers. And those are the great students. Imagine being not as a good a student and how daunting that test is.

Pick a test and stay with it. The NWEA (which measures a student’s abilities on so many levels), or the ACT Explore. Just pick one.

Susan Marsh, Minneapolis

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