The RISE test has made its way into our schools and has taken my third graders six hours to complete. They have taken their time, shown their work and treated the test seriously. As a teacher, I have prepared my students with appropriate, rigorous curriculum, engaging activities and more importantly, have worked hard to teach them to believe in their abilities and to adopt a growth mindset. Their achievement and growth this year has been a pleasure to witness. Every member of our classroom community has done their job to prepare for the RISE test.
The same cannot be said for the State Board of Education and Questar, the company responsible for the RISE test. Some of the problems include students being unable to submit their tests, testing outages, results coming in slowly and in unpredictable ways, a lack of communication from the state or parent company regarding the problems, and an overall unpreparedness in administration of the test. Another alarming fact: Utah knew of these problems happening in other states when they contracted with ETS, Questar’s parent company.
The RISE test has been problematic from the beginning. I am hearing I will not get my English Language Arts results until August. This does not empower me to make reflective choices and changes to my practice to meet the needs of my students. It also doesn’t empower my students to know where they are, and what to work on to progress further in their learning. The people paying the price for the problems surrounding this test are the teachers and students, and the problems need to be fixed sooner rather than later if the state plans on using Questar in future years.
Paige Pectol, Salt Lake City