Tallying the testing time

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Total time preparing to give standardized tests, giving standardized tests or preparing students for standardized tests for Monday and Tuesday adds up to 6.17 hours. That’s probably all anyone needs to know to realize that my last two teaching days took a nearly mortal blow, but the devil is in the details. For those readers who are interested, details follow.

Yesterday: Time spent directly on MAP testing totaled 75 minutes. Time taken from my prep period to help another teacher with MAP testing totaled 35 minutes. (I was lucky enough to miss the whole meeting!) I gave 45 minutes to preparing students for the ACCESS test. I discussed MAP and ACCESS with colleagues for maybe 10 minutes.

Total time on standardized testing yesterday ran 165 minutes or merely 2.75 hours.

Today was heavier. Directly doing whole group, standardized testing today (MAP) took 75 minutes. I then helped another teacher with MAP testing, using 10 minutes of my prep, stolen from a meeting I did not mind missing. Preparing to give another standardized test (ACCESS) required 70 minutes after school. On the plus side, my group decided to call those 70 minutes a meeting to get “meeting credit,” covering ourselves for required meeting time since we will not have time for our usual, unpaid afterschool meeting tomorrow because of yet another meeting that is expected to run long. Adding to this, we gave 10 minutes discussion to testing at the morning meeting to which I was late. Later, I spent 40 minutes going over material expected to be on the ACCESS test with my tutoring students.

I will not bother to record the minutes I spent in other classes getting ready for other regular class tests. Math classes obviously ought to have regular tests and I ought to be getting my students ready for those tests. In a real sense, if I started throwing those tests into my test minutes bucket, we’d fill the bucket. Those minutes would amount to almost every minute of every day — except for the standardized-test minutes which are cannibalizing growing amounts of instructional time.

Eduhonesty: So, using only the standardized tests that are not directly related to instruction, time spent today on testing and/or test prep amounts to 205 minutes — or 3.42 hours, for a two day total of 6.17 hours.

This time is often directly taken away from instruction. When I’m lucky, it’s taken away from meetings instead.