Most teachers say new state test is a waste of time

sheila cohenA new survey out Wednesday by the Connecticut Education Association finds most teachers don’t like the new test linked to the Common Core curriculum standards very much.

In fact, 9 out of 10 call it a waste of time that puts student emotional well-being and learning time at risk.

The survey of K-12 teachers asked about the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium testing which has been given this spring to students in grades three through eight and eleven.

The results, unveiled at a press conference at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Wednesday, comes after the CEA held a rally against excessive testing and voted over the weekend at a representative assembly to allow parents to opt their kids out of the test.

“SBAC is an ineffective and wasteful assessment that is putting our students’ emotional health at risk and denying them the education they deserve,”CEA President Sheila Cohen said in a written statement. “This survey is a powerful wake-up call to legislators about the relentless testing that has overtaken public schools and overwhelmed children. Lawmakers need to take action to restore precious teaching and learning time for our students.”

Here is more from the release:

  • According to the initial findings, nine out of ten teachers \ said SBAC preparation takes away significant time and resources from teaching and learning.
  • Almost all (96 percent) said SBAC is not proven to be beneficial toward improving student learning in the classroom. And 86 percent said SBAC has a negative effect on the social and emotional well-being of children.
  •  Seventy percent of teachers said that students exhibited widely disparate and inequitable computer skills when taking the SBAC test. In high-poverty districts, teachers were significantly more likely (212% more) to report that their students lacked sufficient computer skills to succeed on the test.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of teachers said SBAC’s built-in methods of providing testing accommodations to students with disabilities did not work well.
  • Seventy-nine percent of teachers reported that their students lost significant access to computers/technology throughout this school year because the SBAC test administration and preparation has limited access to computers in their school.
  • Nearly three quarters (74 percent) of teachers said the computerized test administration format is not developmentally appropriate for their students.

More than 1,140 teachers responded to the online survey between May 8, 2015, and May 15, 2015, and a final report will be released mid-June.

Linda Lambeck