23 Days…


I am not sure if other teachers are feeling the same way that I am or not. It seems like the end of the school year has turned into one assessment after another. At the beginning of April we administered our state assessments. Reading Part 1, 2, & 3, Math Part 1, 2, & 3, Grade 4 Science Part 1 & 2, Grade 5 Writing. We will get these results over the summer. Unfortunately, eight of our teachers may or may not be returning due to resignations and reduction in force. It will be difficult to reflect on teaching and student learning. However, we can still use the data as a starting point for next year. Right?

Next, we administered our district reading assessments for all students which monitor letter naming fluency, phoneme segmentation, nonsense word fluency and/or oral reading fluency. The results are immediate and teachers compare student growth and progress over the course of the school year.

Next, we administered our final district reading and math benchmark assessments via computer for first grade through fifth grade students. Teachers look specifically at student growth over time and areas of concern to focus more time and attention on. Our district examines these scores closely analyzing student growth against the beginning, winter and spring assessments. Unfortunately the district does not necessarily look at “cohort” data. Will they take into account the 40-50 new students since February? Most likely they will just be looking at the numbers, not the students.

Next, we administered a writing benchmark at all grade levels. Even though our fifth grade students just took a writing benchmark as part of our state assessments. Honestly, we don’t really analyze and discuss this data too much, in light of all the other assessment data.

Finally, we administered a math problem solving benchmark, which gives teachers immediate feedback on how students’ process and think through math problems.

So now it is the second week of May and less than two weeks of school left. Sigh. Nearly a month of school, 23 days… filled with assessments. How much assessment is too much?


Jen Robinson

Jen Robinson

Maricopa, Arizona

Hello, my name is Jen Robinson. I have been in education for over 20 years. I began teaching in Buffalo, NY in 1992, as a pre-school special education teacher. My experience ranges from primary grades through high school. My husband and I moved to Arizona in 2001, where we were fortunate enough to teach at the same school. In 2004, I achieved National Board Certification and currently support candidates. In 2011 I completed my Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation. My dissertation research focused on supporting National Board candidates through their certification process. During the 2012-2013 school year, I completed my National Board renewal process. It was humbling and very powerful to step back into a classroom. I am currently an elementary principal. I am excited and hopeful for the new school year. I also serve on the Arizona Teacher Solutions Team where we are solutions focused in an effort to transform and elevate the teaching profession.

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