A Balanced View of State Assessments

Posted by Dr. Charles J. Pearson on 4/15/2019

     One of the great challenges in today’s world of education is to balance the reality of state assessments and the weight they carry, against the work that we do each and every day with children.

     Normandy has just completed its first week of MAP, the state’s annual round of assessments in English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Students in grades 3 through 8 are tested in English Language Arts and Math. Students in grades 5 and 8 are tested in science. High school students are tested in four classes: English I, Algebra II, Biology, and Social Studies. The high school exams are called End of Course (EOC) Exams, but serve the same purpose as the MAP. In many circles, these test results determine if we have been successful in our efforts to provide a sound education to our students. These assessments will stretch over a four-week period, so we have three more weeks to go.

      I mentioned the word “balance” earlier. While our children and our schools will be judged on how they perform on these assessments, it is vital that we all see this as just a part of the daily work that we do. Our expectations must always be high. Our actions must always be intentional. Attendance must always be a focus. Getting rest for school and having a sound nutritious meal must always be a priority if we expect our students to do their best. Our students must always understand that they will be judged by how they perform in the world—as with any other job or career. They must also know that they are smart, capable, resilient, and equal to anyone else they encounter. They have what it takes to be successful!

      We will continue to give these messages to our students on a daily basis just as you will give these same messages at home. We will continue to maintain a learning environment at school as you continue to encourage learning at home.

      And our children will demonstrate who they are and what they know. Thank you for your continued partnership with the district!