Let the testing begin

TUPELO – State testing begins tomorrow across the state for students in grades 3-8, who’ll be taking the second edition of the Mississippi Curriculum Test.
“It is a test to measure how the children perform against the curriculum, how much they’ve learned,” said Becky Hendrix, testing coordinator for the Lee County Schools. “The test results are used to determine the schools’ accountability levels” in the fall.
Students will be tested in language and math over a three-day period, Hendrix said.
“They’ll start with reading first on Tuesday, then writing on Wednesday and math on Thursday,” she said, noting this is the MCT2’s second year.
“It’s written on a much higher level of thinking,” she said, based on a more rigorous curriculum. “Many of the questions are multi-step questions that require a lot more thought. The questions are a lot more complex and longer.”
Before the quiet begins, some schools sponsor fun events to get students in the testing mode.
At Milam Elementary School, sixth-grade teacher Stephanie Wayne helped organize an MCT2 “prep” rally for this afternoon.
“This event is important to help both teachers and students to relieve stress,” Wayne said. “It also motivates students to do their best.”
All classes at the 4-6 school were invited to enter a success-themed door decorating contest. Wayne also recruited teachers to dance with TWA, or Teachers with Attitude, in a “Get Your Head in the Game” routine choreographed by fifth-grade teacher Tamekia Porter.
All of the activities, Wayne said, incorporate content to be tested, test-taking strategies and messages to encourage students that they can score proficient or higher.
“Faculty and staff are working hard to make this an enjoyable experience for the students,” she said, and parents, too, can get in on the pre-testing act.
“In my opinion, the most important thing they can do is to make sure that their children get rest and proper nutrition,” Hendrix said, noting that while test results are important to schools, districts and students, everyone should keep the three-day testing in perspective. “It is just one day.”

Contact Ginny Miller at (662) 678-1582 or ginny.miller@djournal.com.


Ginny Miller/NEMS Daily Journal

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