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Cracking the test

by Blake Williams
Nov 29, 2011

With national legislation and statewide regulations, standardized tests are an accepted reality for students.

Chicago Public Schools, however, tests its students more than the minimum. Children in the district will sit in a minimum of 88 testing sessions by the time they leave eighth-grade.

The district will administer the Scantron Performance Series test—the second most frequent of the exams—in just over a month, but the testing will not end there.

The district is focused on preparing its students for life after school, and thinks that the tests are a means to that end, spokeswoman Ana Vargas said.

Education expert Linda McNeil, however, does not support the testing culture that has gripped the country.

“We have seen a degradation of curriculum [and] we have seen a loss of classroom time,” said McNeil, who teaches at Rice University. “You lose all kinds of other things.”


Click the image to see the full-size graphic dissecting the tests CPS has to offer.