Should kids be excited about Standardized Testing?

the case for standardized testing
Image by woodleywonderworks via Flickr

I have been given the task of trying to find ways to pump up kids who are not all that excited about standardized tests. I am supposed to put together a quick reference guide for others who are experiencing a less than enthusiastic response to the CSAP test which comes upon us every March.

The questions I have about this are as follows:

  1. Is it possible to excite kids about standardized testing?
  2. Is it important or valuable to excited kids about standardized testing?

I know that it is possible to get kids excited about learning. I have seen kids take on extra responsiblities in order to learn more. I have seen students literally leap out of their chairs because they wanted to voice their opinion or had a writing piece to share. Is it really possible to get kids excited about working diligently on an assessment of their learning? Is it really possible to make sitting in a desk and filling in bubbles authentic? (I would say, no… but that isn’t what I am being charged with, is it?)

So, how valuable is it to get kids excited about CSAP? Well, the scores directly relate to school funding, so perhaps it is very important to get kids excited. Perhaps it is justified. Perhaps creating videos to prove that a system needs its kids are completely worth it:

Or, is it possible, that we are going about this all wrong. Is it possible that we are trying to gift wrap a process that is inherently filled with flaws so that we don’t have to deal with those flaws. Is it possible that creating these sorts of resources is simply putting off the difficult work of changing the way we assess students? Is our creativity and resource finding prolonging the life of a process we want nothing to do with?

Or, are we just making Standardized tests a little bit easier to swallow?

Maybe a bit of both. Either way, I’m pretty sure I still have to do the assignment. If anyone has a way to make CSAP more exciting, let me know.

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