Green Country Parents, Educators Express Concerns Over Standardized Testing

Thursday, September 19th 2013, 10:32 pm

Standardized testing is a hot topic in education across the country. Thursday night, fed-up parents packed a Sand Springs meeting, looking for changes to what they see as Oklahoma's endless rounds of school testing.

About 150 people met, sharing the same concern--that the state is so worried about testing, that it's losing focus on teaching.

Parents, teachers, administrators and even lawmakers packed into the Sand Springs Early Childhood Center to share their concerns over the state of testing in Oklahoma.

"I believe in teaching and learning," said Sand Springs Superintendent Lloyd Snow. "I believe in teachers being the most powerful influence in a kid's experience in school."

Snow said the state has lost sight of what's important in the classroom. He said too much time is being put toward preparing students for exams and far too little time is being put toward teaching.

"I don't believe spending all of our days--I think there's like 20 days, it's like after we get back from the holidays, all we do is test preparation and administer tests. I think that's a bad use of time, I think that's a bad use of resources," Snow said.

Snow said it's possible that more required tests will be added to the curriculum during this school year or next.

Parent Stacy Clipp said adding more tests won't help prepare her children for the future.

"When they join the workforce, the important part is thinking outside the box and being creative and finding solutions to problems, which is not a test question," Clipp said. "You're not gonna check A, B, C or D, you're gonna have to think for yourself."

Lori Nance said she hopes a rallying cry from other parents like her will spark changes in the testing system.

"I would love see some changes. I think too much emphasis is put on the test scores for the children. I don't think it's a true meaning of what their educational level is. I've seen some kids that do poorly on a test, but do fantastic on their daily work," Nance said.

One parent said, when it comes to standardized testing, the results need to come back in a timely manner, so teachers can take action to correct the problems.

School districts are still reviewing last spring's test results. That means they won't be finalized until the end of this month.


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