How to Help Students Cope with Testing

It would help students cope with testing if they could actually benefit educationally from the tests they take. I sent three children off to school this morning to take standardized tests. I gave them a good breakfast and told them to do their best. In all likelihood they will take the tests and then forget all about them. We usually receive the scores over the summer, when kids have long forgotten about them. 

Since many of the tests are now done on computers we should be able to receive results almost instantaneously. Wouldn’t it be great if my children’s teachers could actually use this data to help my kids understand where their strengths are and where they need to focus their learning?  Yesterday Mission 100Percent, a website that shares video clips of teachers, featured this video of a teacher using data from standardized tests to help his students understand where they are and where they are going. I watched and felt jealous that more teachers don’t have access to testing data in a timely manner to use this data with students. I especially liked the subtle way the teacher rewarded the student with the highest rate of growth.

Data from testing is useful for schools, districts and states to see how they compare to their peers. Why not make this data available to empower our students to examine themselves as learners as well?