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end-of-year testing

Hold up: End-of-year testing doesn’t always carry weight

Decisions about students shouldn't be made based on one test, study suggests

While end-of-year testing influences how teachers teach, experts caution against making major decisions about students around a single test.

A survey from Instructure, creator of the Canvas learning management system, shows that parents find end-of-year assessments only moderately effective–in fact, 66 percent of parents believe end-of-year testing is only slightly effective to not effective at all in assessing how much their child has learned and how prepared they are to move on to the next grade.

“End-of-year tests play a huge role in how teachers spend class time, especially as they wrap up the school year,” says Hilary Scharton, vice president of K–12 product strategy at Instructure. “When it comes to assessments, it’s important to remember that they can be built for different purposes, so we should ensure we’re not making high-stakes decisions about students based on a single test.”

What’s more, 41 percent of parents believe opting out of end-of-year testing will encourage states to change how students are assessed.

Parents are hesitant to take additional action outside of the school:
● Only 15 percent of parents indicated they would hire a tutor based on their child’s test scores
● Five percent of parents considered school district end-of-year test scores when buying a home

According to the survey, teachers acknowledge spending class time focused on preparing students for end-of-year tests:
● They spend an average of 42 percent of their time preparing for and administering end-of-year tests

Teachers also are feeling pressure to have students perform well on tests:
● Almost 70 percent at least somewhat agreed they teach to the test to increase scores on end-of-year tests
● Sixty-two percent of teachers said that end-of-year tests are only moderately effective to not effective at all
● Only 25 percent of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that curriculum is changed from year-to-year as a result of end-of-year test results, and 24 percent agree or strongly agree that administrators receive a reward or penalization based on end-of-year test results

Instructure surveyed 333 K–12 public school teachers and 700 parents about their thoughts on the effectiveness of end-of-year tests.

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Laura Ascione

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