/Crying real tears’ Educators testify about the toll of standardized testing

Crying real tears’ Educators testify about the toll of standardized testing

Mississippi News Nonprofit Educators wanted to share their experiences with state testing. A public hearing was held by lawmakers to discuss the impact standardized tests have had on students, parents, and educators. Three times in three years Mississippi has changed state tests. It started with the Mississippi Curriculum Test, and moved to the PARCC test during the 2014-15 schoolyear. In the 2015-16 schoolyear, the state changed again and now uses the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program. MAAP is used in Mississippi to assess students’ proficiency in reading, math, and science. It varies by grade. These tests are used to determine accountability grades for schools and districts. Under a federal law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, the state must administer end-of course exams. Tyler Hansford, the superintendent of the Union Schools District, stated that while he is not running away from accountability, he also believes that teachers are. However, what he was more interested in, Tyler Hansford said that accountability should be more relevant to students, teachers, and parents. Teachers and administrators at the hearing stated that all the testing from the state to the district level puts a lot of stress on children and teachers. Nakiya, a Jackson Public School teacher, spoke up in an emotional speech to the packed room. She said that many of her fourth-grade students could read. Provine High School English teacher Nakiya Beaman teaches 10th grade English. She feels tremendous pressure to catch up with her students so that they can pass standardized tests. “Friday was a hard Friday. I was in tears. Beaman stated that my (students’) scores are so low. “I want people understand that our accountability model is constantly changing…Our district spends so many time and so much money guessing about what the state test will be every year.” Previous years, Rep. Tom Miles (D-Forest) filed numerous bills to eliminate end of course assessments and replace them by the ACT exam. He argued that these exams keep teachers from teaching and create barriers for students to graduate. Miles stated that he plans to bring the matter back up in this legislative session. Miles stated that while we understand that students must take federal accountability tests, it does not have to be a punishment for graduation requirements._x000D