A friend shared with me a concept about the timing of standardized tests that I hadn’t appreciated before. If the test is early in the year, it can be used as a tool for the teacher to help the teacher understand a student’s strengths and weaknesses. If the test is late in the year, the state is basically just using my kid as a tool to measure the teacher — based, I might add, on sketchy metrics. (“Don’t worry about what you’re measuring, just give me a number!”)
These tests are a waste of time and money. Finland, one of the world’s best educational systems, takes one externalized, high stakes test at the end of high school. That’s it. It would make some vendors very sad (and much poorer) but we could save my kids a lot of time and our school systems a lot of time if we chucked these tests.
Might even be easier to just ask the teachers how their students are doing — if you trust and respect the teachers as professionals, that is.