State Mandated Assessments and Teacher Evaluations Causing Upset - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

State Mandated Assessments and Teacher Evaluations Causing Upset

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Its already a controversial issue for parents and students, standardized testing. By 2014, each course will have an End of Course Exam, but is this going to far? Bay Haven Charter Academy decided to study how much instructional time is lost because it is spent preparing and taking these state mandated tests.

With such an emphasis on state mandated assessments, it's hurting both students and teachers according to Bay Haven Charter Academy CEO Dr. Tim Kitts.

"We don't need all the testing that's going what we're doing is over testing for some unknown reason to have this data and what we're doing is we're ending up with this statistical cliff," says Dr. Kitts. 

With a move to even more testing by 2014 with an end of course exam for every course, Bay Haven Charter Academy took a look at how much time is lost in the class room and is spent on testing and technology training for testing for these state mandated assessments.

Just for this school year, the school found the average 5 grader will have lost 40 hours of instruction to testing and technology training for testing. The average 8th grader will have lost 43 hours of class time, and the average 10th grader will have lost up to 48 hours.

"When we elevate by 2015 to every subject in every school, you are going to see an exponentially increase in testing. It's ridiculous," says Dr. Kitts.

The study says an average student will lose a cumulative total of about 46 days from grades 3-10 on these tests.

Another area of concern in the world of education is the state mandated evaluation system for teachers. Many educators say the process is taking up time that should be spent on instruction.

Here in Bay County, the superintendent and several other teachers are speaking out against the assessments.

Superintendent Bill Husfelt says teachers are having to spend so much time preparing for the evaluation that it's taking away from lesson planning and learning in the classroom.

The Value Added Model or the VAM is a state mandated teacher evaluation system that compares the student performance of similar students in order to rate the teachers. Law makers, like Marti Coley, say it was intended to help account for factors in the classroom teachers cannot control.

Educators, however, are saying it creates an unfair formula. Husfelt believes the state needs to back off the VAM and instead evaluate the teachers that still need to grow and let the highly effective teachers spend more time in the classroom.

"It is hurting instruction in the classroom. It is so in depth and so unfair to the teachers that it is taking time away from instruction and it's hurting classroom instruction," says Superintendent Bill Husfelt.