Email from a CPS teacher on NWEA testing at her school
Our school was told by an Area person that we did not have enough broadband to carry the test for one testing classroom. We've been given tips that might help, such as asking other teachers on our floor not to use their google email during testing, or stream video, to turn off pop-up-blocker, to make sure the computers don't go to energy-saver mode, etc. These tips have not worked, nor do I think it is appropriate for the teachers on the same floor to have to alter their teaching style to accomodate this finicky test for a month.
The technical problems are just one concern. The teachers in my school are flabbergasted that students as young as kindergarten are required to take this test, in the first month, and that this will be one of their first experiences with school. In the upper grades we have had a couple weeks of a department schedule disrupted due to the problems. So much for setting routines!
We also are required to give the Reach Test within the month. Even preschoolers have to take it. It is a paper/pencil test. The readings seem to be very lofty and the students are having a hard time relating to the language.
If you have any questions, feel free to write back.