Letter: Testing before material is taught
I am a public high school teacher ["When teaching to the test is good," Editorial, Aril 18]. My students are expected to master weekly quizzes, quarterly unit tests and ultimately a New York State-generated Regents examination. Additionally, I rely on laboratory write-ups, case study assignments, homework, and a variety of reading and writing assignments. I'm a big fan of assessments. I use them daily.
However, my students are never assessed on material they haven't yet learned. I never create assessments that they simply cannot master. If my assessments are capricious and arbitrary, my students simply won't trust me. I worry that's the result we'll get from this month's state tests. I rely on trust to lead students to successful outcomes.
Invalid tests serve no purpose and in fact can do damage. Valid tests move students along in a positive way. Let's get it right.
Beth Shapiro, Oakdale