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Talk About Town: Do We Test Our Kids Too Much?

A new grassroots campaign in Ann Arbor has some parents asking for less testing in schools. What do you think?

The Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) testing in Hartland Schools started this week for students in 3rd through 8th grades. 

The tests will continue through the end of the next week and students will be tested in areas of reading, writing, math and science depending on their grade level.

Some parents, however, are questioning the frequency of testing in schools.

A grassroots campaign started by a group of parents in Ann Arbor called STOP, which stands for "Stop over-Testing Our Pupils" have started an online petition.

According to a story from AnnArbor.com, the petition asks that the number of tests and assessments be mandated in classrooms to only those required by law and that further tests be decided by teachers.

The petition does not target the MEAP since that is a mandated test, but some parents who have already signed the petition, stated that too many tests were creating too much stress on students.

According to Ann Arbor.com, the petition coincided with the beginning of the MEAP tests to bring attention to the issue and had 89 signatures 24 hours after it opened.

So, Hartland Patch wants to know: Are your students stressed from too many tests? Do you think Hartland students are "over-tested" and started too young? 

Tell us in comments.

In this Thursday morning feature, we want to hear your opinions about certain topics making headlines. We'll be looking for your feedback in the comment section weekly. And we want to know what the Talk About Town is in your circles. Email Tatum at tatum.ryan@patch.com and it could be a topic of a future Talk About Town.

Kelly October 11, 2012 at 12:53 PM
What tests are they talking about? The standardized tests are once a year and a good way to compare individual progress and school progress. So those are no big deal and if they are talking about individual classroom tests and quizzes and greatly reducing them they are being foolish. Kids will not learn the material unless they need to retain it later for a test. The fewer the tests the bigger impact on that grade. If you blow one test it will impact you greatly and if you have several tests over the quarter and bomb a test you can still work harder later to change your grade with other tests to improve upon. This sounds like a bunch of people who like every kid on the team to get a trophy or an award no matter what your skill level was or how hard you tried. The self esteem pushers who will have some whiney assed milk toast kids who never ammount to anything "cause it's too hard".
Kelly October 11, 2012 at 01:04 PM
in reading further this is all about one other test called the MAP test.....that's it.... Not sure if it is just an AA schools test or not.
Dr Cindy October 11, 2012 at 03:29 PM
I think it would be foolish to opt for less tests that carry more weight and are therefore more stressful and weighted heavier in determining the child's future path. Life is full of tests and in careers everyone is being made to continue to take tests to prove their competency and retain credentials. You would be better off doing more tests, making them routine and less stressful by teaching them strategies for approaching tests with opportunities to re-do them and learn from them. It's the way you approach the tests and the significance you place on them and the consequences of them that makes them stressful. A little stress and deadlines are necessary to motivate learning, but a test cannot be the end of the world. Approach testing wisely and customize them for the needs of each child so they CAN win - make it do-able but challenging enough that they can also have a sense of accomplishment.

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