Should elementary schools ban spelling tests?

Two of the biggest school districts in St. Louis, Missouri, recently eliminated spelling tests. This may be part of a larger trend. Spelling will still be taught in these districts, but kids won't be explicitly tested on the subject.

What do you think: Should spelling tests be banned? Is it a good idea to move away from testing? Will kids still be held accountable for understanding spelling?

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In Topics: Tests (preparing, taking, anxiety!), Motivation and achievement at school
> 60 days ago


Answers (1)

pigtoria writes:

You asked an interesting question and one that I’ve asked myself since my son started second grade this year.  My son’s teacher doesn’t give a spelling test.  She gives what she calls “a pretest”.  Hence, every Friday, the kids are “pretested” on 10-15 words.  The number of words missed will determine their spelling words list for the following week.  (Yes, in theory, there could be 21 different spelling words lists for each of the student in class).  There are various assignments for the spelling words list Monday through Thursday including writing the spelling words four times, definitions, spelling sentences, grouping the words into categories, word shapes, etc.  However, there is NO spelling test on these spelling words on Friday.  So on Friday, my son does not have a spelling test – he has a “pretest” which is randomly selected words that he never studied for.

My son has a great memory so not having a spelling test doesn’t bother me.  However, since August until now, I’ve asked myself these questions - what is the benefit of spelling tests?  What is the purpose of spelling?  Does a good speller makes a good reader or vice versa?  I don’t know if I’ve found the answers to these questions yet. So for the time being, I continue to do my part.  I have my son take a spelling test – on the spelling words list that he worked on from Monday through Thursday – every Thursday night.

There is no perfect school district, school, nor teacher.  There will always be something missing from the puzzle.  As parents, we need to supplement our children’s education, and fill in those missing pieces of the puzzle.  This way we can give our children a well-rounded “whole” (puzzle) education.

Hope this helps!

> 60 days ago

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