Reading test marathon
77 schools in 3 weeks
Last week we started our reading tests but we stepped up our game. In the past, we have been testing 20 schools in Gulu municipal: about 18 schools we are working with and a couple of control schools. This term we decided to raise the stakes for all involved and test every primary school in Gulu municipal.
I'm excited to see the data at the end of these tests, but I am also excited to be part of an incredible team of volunteers helping us out with the tests. We are extremely fortunate to have about 20 infant reading teachers from local primary schools who are helping to facilitate the test in their neighbouring schools.
There's a few reasons for this sudden surge in testing (and what I'm excited about):
1. We would like to rank every primary school in Gulu municipal based on its reading performance for P1-P3. These results will then be given to the local education authority.
2. We would like to use the results to help inform future training needs for schools. And already we have received some great responses from head teachers who would like to work with us next year to train their teachers and try to improve their children's reading levels.
3. It's good for schools to try and be accountable for what is happening inside their school. We plan to publicise these results locally and hopefully schools which are not performing well will be motivated to make drastic changes.
4. We are hoping these municipal-wide tests in children's reading will help inform discussion on improving education policy for Gulu.
5. We are hoping these tests will bring about a wider discussion in the community on how to teach reading and how children learn how to read.
6. Finally, it is a brilliant opportunity for reading teachers to help us conduct the tests. By helping us and taking the time to sit and listen to children read one-by-one they are getting a great insight into children's reading and what happens on the other side.