Why quarterly assessments need to go

As a QA requires in certain subjects, students must use scratch paper and the computer to solve their answers. Subjects like math are typically ones to do this and to also have a very standardized test present in the classes.

As a QA requires in certain subjects, students must use scratch paper and the computer to solve their answers. Subjects like math are typically ones to do this and to also have a very standardized test present in the classes.

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Every nine weeks, we as students know what time it is. Since third grade for most in the Washington School District, there has been a QA or post-test haunting upon students’ lives. Taking QAs is not as stress relieving as a normal final is, since you know in nine weeks you will be right back to the link on Schoology saying “QA Post-Test.” 

Nowadays, I feel like QAs are becoming less dominating over a solid week of class time. However, when I was in middle school, it did take a full school week in reviewing for the test. That is four weeks of a school year if you account for all four QAs. If you did a lesson a day each of those days, you could complete 20 lessons in that time. Students could learn more after not having to stop in order to review what they have done in the past. I understand the purpose of finals for reflection, but I believe that QAs are not necessary and redundant. 

Some administrators in schools that do quarterly assessments commonly state that QAs or Post-Tests are needed to track student process, but I disagree that it is needed after every single quarter. Progress can be tracked by finals just fine, as well as other ways. Test scores and grades can show just as much as a 12 question assessment. If anything, that shows way more by the students’ actual class participation and knowledge acquisition. The unit test scores can be combined to score the students as well. 

Generally, I think that the rigor of the QAs are going in the right direction. The tests have been a lot shorter in high school than at lower levels for at least most sophomores. This helps students to focus on unit tests or to participate in various extracurricular activities. QAs have a purpose, but I cannot emphasize enough that there is a more efficient way to measure student progress. It takes up valuable time for a student to continue to learn and puts a hold to productivity. 

A quarterly assessment is typically just another standardized test for students to take, as some teachers or subjects are more lenient than others. Standardized tests combine specific learning targets that everyone in that mark of learning should know not dependent on which teacher they have. Different states require different things, which I feel nullifies the whole system. But nevertheless, a standardized test is given to all students and can be graded the same way. The English and math departments in school districts are seemingly switching to this slowly as less writing problems are showing up in post-test from a student’s perspective. Now for most subjects this is fine, but in subjects like English it is hard to tell. Writing is such an important part of comprehension but still our whole education system is too all appearances switching away from it being implemented. There will still be writings, but free response questions are coming less and less, which is debatable on being better or worse. But a standardized test shows heavy resemblances to the flaws of the Common Core system that most students were not the biggest fans of. These tests are going in the wrong direction in my personal opinion. It is taking away the freedom of teaching and setting a boundary on how far the student can go. A standardized test is comparable to that statement, at least for me personally. Pressure of tests does not cause students to remember knowledge, but rather to forget it more than likely the day after the test. 

The whole systems of Common Core and standardized learning targets and tests are essentially representing testing over learning. When it comes down to the end of the day, what is the purpose of education? That is all that matters in the end about school. What is the point of showing up to school everyday? The correct answer should be to learn and prosper, but standardized testing is potentially going to compromise those ideals that root down to the whole philosophy of schooling.