“Our children are being tested WAY TOO MUCH”

The image “https://i0.wp.com/teacher.scholastic.com/lessonPlans/images/jan05_unit/250_poster_grade912.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. …so says GCS Board member Darlene Garrett during the meeting the other evening, in which she publicly thanked the district’s guidance counselors for participating in a recent Shared Communication Committee meeting. Unfortunately, Garrett made the remark as a response to why our guidance counselors are doing everything else OTHER than counseling…they’re de-facto test coordinators at many schools, something that’s not really in their job descriptions.

This week’s Rhino Times inks a story on just this very issue…and it is now an issue. See this excerpt:

Counselors and social workers spoke of what they are dealing with, and warned that if something is not done soon regarding their heavy workload, the number of students dropping out of school is soon going to increase and test scores are going to plummet.

Southeast High School counselor Elgina Manuel begged the committee members in attendance, Garrett and Routh, as well as the school board members who sat in on the meeting, Kris Cooke, Dot Kearns, Amos Quick and Chairman Alan Duncan, to find a “feasible” solution that is “reasonable.”

“If you want to increase the dropout rate, this is the way you do it,” Manuel said.

Guilford County School’s dropout rate in 2006-2007 was 3 percent.

Manuel read off a list of tests students have to take at the high school level, barely taking a breath between words, and said it is too much. Students are tested annually in reading, math, science, US history, civics and economics and computer competency. But before the real tests, students take benchmark tests to make sure they are learning what the teacher is teaching, often every four weeks throughout the school year. Tests are administered by teachers, counselors, social workers and anyone else who can help. Students also take behavioral and emotional tests.

This is nuts, folks. All of this, in the name of accountability…there’s got to be a better way.

Another excerpt:

Manuel continued, “We have interns handling case loads” because counselors and social workers don’t have time to get to them. Since the start of the school year, Manuel said she has worked with over 300 seniors who need services.

“Something’s wrong,” Manuel said. “You’ve got to advocate for these students. Mandates are driving the students’ needs. Students’ needs need to drive the mandates.”

Triangle Lake Montessori counselor Bruce Pugh said he didn’t think any of them were doing the jobs they were trained to do.

“I have eight hours of tutoring that I have to do, and I’m not trained to do that,” Pugh said.

Pugh suggested school board members should investigate having a testing coordinator for each school. Pugh read a list of items that he said he does in a school day, most of them something he was not hired to do.

“If we are counselors, let us be counselors,” Pugh said.

This blog writes itself, folks.

E.C. 🙂


One Response

  1. 3rd Grade devotes 21 days per year for testing. Here’s the breakdown:

    3 days for EOG Pretest Practice

    3 days for the EOG Pretest

    3 days for the COG-At test

    9 days for benchmarks

    3 days for EOGs @ the end of the year

    Had I been subjected to this kind of regiment @ age 8, I probably would have dropped out by middle school.

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