standardized testing

No recess and no band: Test score focus hurts kids, says new report

(via Minnesota 2020) Changes in school spending priorities over the last ten school years.

Did you take band, theater, phy-ed, or business class when you were in school? Then you may have been able to do something most kids can’t do or don’t have time to do these days because of changes in Minnesota school budgets — take an “enrichment” course.


Film provides students' views on standardized testing

The on-going national debate on standardized testing features a lengthy list of pros and cons. Proponents often cite the tests as “reliable and objective measures,” “inclusive and non-discriminatory,” and claim most parents approve. Not everyone agrees.


Opting out of tests and into learning that matters

This week at school, my nine-year old son will be working on a project that he is passionate about: an in-depth look at the Greek god Poseidon. He will be researching Poseidon, trying to figure out how to accurately and artistically draw a trident, and otherwise putting the finishing touches on his project, which will then be shared with his classmates next week.


In Minneapolis, 'Shifting,' Saturday School and Spring Break Academy target test scores

Over the past year, Minneapolis Public Schools have announced a series of new initiatives. This article is the first in a short series describing some of these initiatives, and looking at how they relate to MCA test preparation, and what teachers, parents and the district have to say about the initiatives and the tests.


What color is your parachute? "Yellow" students targeted for extra help in Minneapolis Spring Break Academy

© bradcalkins -

As part of its recently announced short-term intervention strategies, the district will offer a special Spring Break Academy. Host schools for these academies will be selected from among the thirteen sites that have been chosen as “lab schools” for the short-term intervention plan.


Educators to gather this week for 'excellence and equity'

Best-selling author Paul Tough will argue that the best predicators of student success are qualities of character rather than scores on standardized tests during his keynote speech at the Education Minnesota Professional Conference, which runs Thursday and Friday at the RiverCentre in downtown St. Paul.


Opting out of MAP tests at Minneapolis South High

Michelle Ockman, Rob Panning-Miller, Melinda Bennett

In early September, a group of teachers at South High School in Minneapolis let parents know that they have the right to opt their children out of the upcoming MAP (Measuring Academic Progress) test. The MAP is one of the standardized tests that most children in Minnesota are given in grades 1-9, and some view it as a way to measure students’ academic growth throughout the year.


Wonk time: An insider's critique of new Minnesota school rating system

Students at Maxfield Elementary school (Photo by Alleen Brown)

St. Paul accountability chief Matt Mohs isn’t sold yet on the new Minnesota system designed to identify schools that are succeeding and failing.


When tests tell teachers nothing: Special needs not met by standardized tests

David Junwirth is a student at Bridge View (photo courtesy of Rachel Peulen)

Every spring at St. Paul’s Bridge View school for students with significant special needs, teacher Rachel Peulen spends two to three weeks administering a test that she knows will tell her next to nothing about her students.


St. Paul teacher: Too much testing hurts kids who need help most

Kaye Peters (Photo by Alleen Brown)

For St. Paul English teacher Kaye Peters, the standardized tests her Central High students take throughout the year are an annoying distraction.

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