I've heard parents complain for a few years now about how schools seem to be teaching for TCAPs (Tennessee's standardized testing) but I never really understood the problem. Now that my daughter is at the end of her 7th grade year, I get it.
These tests are nothing new. I took them in school, as I'm sure everyone else did. They were held in the spring, and lasted almost a week. Bubble forms, freshly sharpened #2 pencils (and teachers checked every student's pencils to make sure) and endlessly boring days with timed tests and no freedom to do anything else. But once it was over, back to business as usual. The last week of school our textbooks were taken up by the teachers, a field trip and a class party, and we were out for the summer.
Now it's a different story. Our daughter's school had TCAP testing in April. Last week were their final 9-week tests (they are on a 9 week instead of 6 week grading period). Since the middle of last week they have not had any textbooks, or homework. No class work either, apparently. They have a full week of school this week, and Monday is their last day.
So what are they doing? My daughter is texting me how bored she is. They do have a field trip this week, but that's just one day. They are playing games and chatting with each other.
I understand that teachers and students alike are ready for summer. The kids are a bit more unruly, teachers are tired, but please don't make their educations suffer! Am I unrealistic to expect SOME sort of learning should still be going on at the end of the year? Review worksheets if nothing else! Yes, I know you have already collected all their books. All you need is one workbook and a photocopier.
There are many, many other issues with teaching for testing - much bigger issues with bigger consequences. This is a relatively minor one, but still an issue for me, anyway.
Am I being unrealistic, though? I'd love to hear other parents' (and teachers') thoughts on this!