I walked up to the check-out at my daughter’s medical appointment this morning, set down my purse, and plopped into a chair. I took out my iPhone and opened to the calendar app so I could schedule our follow-up appointment. Once it was opened, I set it down and waited patiently for the man behind the desk to pull up the physician’s schedule. As I did, I noticed something that unsettled me.
I found it curious that PSSA Testing was boxed off and labeled April on the 2013 calendar that had been placed at the check-out desk for the purpose of knowing when holidays and other observances are. I’ve never seen standardized tests demarcated on a calendar in a medical office. (Also, as a point of reference, the PSSA math, reading, and science tests are in April. The PSSA writing test happens before April.)
In case you’re not familiar with the PSSA, here’s what it is:
The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) includes assessments in English Language Arts and Mathematics which are taken by students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Students in grades 4 and 8 are administered the Science PSSA. The English Language Arts and Mathematics PSSAs include items that are consistent with the Assessment Anchors/Eligible Content aligned to the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The Science PSSA include items that are aligned to the Assessment Anchors/Eligible Content aligned to the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Science, Technology, Environment and Ecology (Retrieved on 3/4/13 from http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/state_assessment_system/20965).
It’s a big deal if you’re in grades 3 – 8. After all, we all know how hyped up schools are making kids (and parents) over these high stakes tests. You know it because many of you work in schools that spend weeks, if not months, preparing for standardized assessments.
So, I’m wondering… Would you rearrange your child’s medical specialty appointment around standardized tests or would you take the first available appointment even if it meant they had to do a make-up test? (I know as a teacher I’d prefer all kids take the test at the same time, but as a parent, I know how hard it can be to get these appointments.) What do you think of the fact that the doctor’s office added the PSSAs to the calendar at the check-out? Is it just informing parents or do you think there’s a bigger issue here? Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment.