Tuesday, March 1, 2011

ISAT Where?

Today was my daughter's second day of ISAT (Illinois State Achievement Test) testing.  Last night at dinner, while we were sharing our highs and lows of the day, Molly told us how anxious she got while taking her science test.  She said, "Mom, I don't know what happened!  My brain just froze up and I couldn't think of a single thing!"

My heart dropped.  My girl, who loves going to Mr. Toops's science lab to watch Herculese the boa constrictor eat mice and who thinks it's fun to conduct various experiments around our house froze on the science test.  This isn't even one of the BIG tests that "count" toward AYP.  What would happen when she takes her math or reading tests?

I looked at my girl over our dinner of roast beef and potatoes, and said to her, "Did you do your best? If so, that's all you can do."  I don't think she believed me, and since she is a perfectionist, it doesn't help to tell her there are things on this test that she probably hasn't even learned yet!

How I wish my girl didn't have to be burdened with such heavy duty standardized testing.  As a teacher myself, I understand the need to know what our students know and how much they have achieved.  However, I worry that we're testing the joy right out of them.


  1. You said it best: testing the joy right out of them. Only it's not us (teachers), but the politicians who have mandated these tests and put such high stakes on the outcome of them.

  2. my daughter starts kindergarten next year, and i absolutely dread it. i teach 15-17 year olds, and their joy has definitely been tested out of them. what a shame! i hope your daughter did well on her test, though.

  3. I teach first grade. I'm so tired of people forcing the joy out of teaching, forcing the joy out of learning, forcing, forcing, forcing...
    It's gonna break!

  4. It's so hard to watch kids take these tests. Wise advice you gave her -- "Just do your best." These same words were spoken at our dinner table tonight. Looking forward to writing through March with you.