The Dreaded “T” Word….

By  Samantha Muniz , OEA/United Education Association

Image: OvertestedOHThe dreaded “T” word….

It has truly become a taboo word in the world of education. I am a high school English teacher turned high school counselor and boy have I seen a shift in testing in the nine years I’ve been in education. Unfortunately, like those of us in education know, it’s not a positive change.

We used to meet the week of the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT) with some trepidation.

After all, we knew it only lasted a week and we were only testing one grade level. But now we meet the MONTH of testing with absolute and utter dread. Dread for the amount of time it takes to prepare for “the tests,” dread for the amount of time it takes to administer the tests, dread for the makeup tests for students who were absent during testing and on and on; just a whole lot of dread.

Better yet, our main stakeholders, the kids, also dread taking the tests and what the outcome will be if they don’t score high enough.

The amount of anxiety that is bottled up in the walls of our school for the month and a half that it takes to test all our students is immeasurable and unfathomable.

I’ve seen students shake with fear in anticipation of logging in to the testing system or break down in tears of relief after submitting their last question.

As a school counselor I see the toll that the end-of-course exams/AIR tests take on my students. And, frankly, I see the amount of time that is taken away from an already busy and, what should be, exciting time of year.

I truly hope for our kids sake, for our teachers sake, for our sanity’s sake that testing decreases or, dare I say, completely disappears in the near future. Can you imagine the possibilities with no testing? An educator can dream right?

Until then, we’ll keep testing away! #OvertestedOH

Samantha Muniz is a grade 10-12 school counselor with United Local Schools in the Village of Hanoverton in Columbiana County (in northeast Ohio)


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