Without tests, we wouldn’t have the information we need to navigate our everyday lives. The same is true in our classrooms: without tests, how would parents, teachers and community members know how our kids are doing, or how to help all students get on track? Just as we need trustworthy tests in our daily lives—from the doctor’s office to the mechanic—we need unbiased, quality assessments for our kids.
But we know that student assessments are one of the best tools we have to understand how students and schools are doing. And with fewer, better and fairer tests, we can ensure all Minnesota kids succeed.
So let’s test less, but better. Let’s use high-quality, relevant tests that strengthen teaching and learning, and give parents peace of mind about their children’s achievement.
"Testing and data collection, whether formal or informal, is my road map to knowing where my students are academically and what I need to do to help them succeed."
"The most powerful tool teachers have to gauge student growth toward state standards is ongoing formative assessments that drive daily instruction. State accountability tests, such as the MCAs, provide a good indicator for how our students perform as compared to others of similar demographics across the state."
"As a teacher leader, I see standardized assessments as a yearly reminder that we are not reaching all students. Until the achievement gap is eliminated between white students and students of color, I am in favor of standardized testing on as large a scale as we need it to be to send the message that we need to learn how to effectively educate all students."
"I absolutely hate giving tests, most especially bubble-filling standardized tests. I hate watching my students taking them, hate the time and stress and boredom of them. They do not help my room or my instruction. However, the populations that most need more from our schools are often invisible or dismissible in the rooms of decision makers. Without the data we get, it would be too easy to keep ignoring the voices that demand better than the status quo. With better tests and better testing, we can continue to identify where we are struggling and where we are being successful."
"I utilize formal assessments like MCAs as one data point to discover how I can improve my teaching methods, ensuring that students who learn differently are still working toward grade level standards and exposed to a rigorous curriculum. Though I am constantly progress monitoring and using formative assessments to guage student mastery of concepts, it is also important for me to have data from high quality statewide assessments to reveal gaps between student groups and have the opportunity for comparative analysis"
"As a teacher, I believe that eliminating criterion-referenced, standardized tests would ultimately hurt students. These tests give invaluable information that allow me to provide my students with targeted instruction on the exact skills they need to succeed."