Over-testing ELLs

After speaking with a 4th grade dual language (Spanish/English) teacher at the Courageous Schools conference (5/18/13), I decided to detail a likely standardized testing schedule of a 4th grade ELL (English-language learner) in a NYC public school bilingual program.

In the 2008 – 2009 school year, I taught a 4th/5th grade bilingual bridge class and was rattled by the amount of standardized testing my students were subjected to. This pre-dated the advent of the new Common Core-infused state ELA and math tests, which I feel are educationally unsound in both length and content.

Here’s a likely 2012-2013 SY standardized testing schedule for the above-mentioned student (note: this does not include teacher-generated, content area tests):

*2 English-language Arts (ELA) Acuity Benchmark Assessments

*2 Math Acuity Benchmark Assessments

*2 ELL Periodic Assessments (optional)

*3 days of high-stakes Common Core ELA state exams (April) – ELLs with less than 12 months in the system are exempt

*3 days of high-stakes Common Core Math state exams (April)

*4 parts of the lengthy Common Core-fortified NYSESLAT (NYS English as a Second Language Achievement test): speaking, listening, reading, writing (April and May)

*1 ELE (el examen de lectura en espanol) Spanish reading comprehension test (spring 2013)

*2 days of the Grade 4 Elementary-level Science Test (June)

My heart goes out to the teachers and students of these classes. I’ve been there and feel your pain. I also recognize how much more draining the testing is today (as compared to 2008-2009). Hang in there.

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