Amy Sanders Schmidt 
Member since May 13, 2015


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Re: “Richmond Parents Take a Pass on SOL Tests

Last year was the first year my son took SOL's. One year was enough for us. Being taught to a test is absurd. The very idea that every child can test in this manner is even more absurd. How many of those test taking children suffer from ADHD/ADD. Probably more than you think. How on earth can they expect those kids to sit in front of a screen for hours taking tests? Ridiculous! Not to mention the results of these tests did not in any way reflect my son's honor roll grades. What really got me was how much pressure was put on the children. Now we all know at the elementary school level these tests have no impact on our kids, but that's not the way it was communicated to my child. He was told he may not pass third grade if he failed the SOLs. Not at all true! This is why he and many other kids do not show their potential on their tests. They freeze under the pressure. The first day of testing he woke on his own a full hour and a half earlier than normal in near tears because he was so nervous. That was the final straw for me. It was then I made the decision to look into private school options. If this is what our educational system is trying to accomplish then kudos, they have been very successful. There's got to be a better way. Schools are not even using the materials provided to them because they are not adequately covering the test content. I was told at the beginning of the year that they weren't using the textbook for math because the book didn't cover the SOL material. When my son struggled with the math portion of the SOL practice test, I was asked to review the materials with him. With what? He didn't even have a book for me to reference. So frustrating!

This year my kids started private school. They are thriving. So much less stressful. Yes they do have testing that they do throughout the year but there is absolutely no pressure surrounding these tests. And guess what? They're still learning new material instead of focusing on what they've already been taught and sitting in a computer lab taking tests for hours. Ultimately I'm glad my kids are where they are now for many reasons (not just SOL related), but it is disappointing that we had to resort to that.

I think an opt out movement is the only way we will see any reform in standardized testing. Perhaps when reform does happen they should let the actual educators make the decisions rather than politicians. Bureaucracy has no place in our educational system.

23 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Amy Sanders Schmidt on 05/13/2015 at 9:37 PM

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