elementary art test

Imagine! Someone ending up on this blog as a result of a google search of the above! For some reason, according to my blog stats and google search referrals, everyday there is at least one view of this blog by someone looking to test elementary age students in art. If you have read much of this blog at all you’ll understand why I think this is so hilarious!

Now they’ll end up on this post and wonder why. Maybe they’ll read a few posts and leave a comment.
Maybe they don’t teach in California public schools.



Filed under art education, artists teaching art, elementary art education, LBUSD, Long Beach art, teaching kids art

24 responses to “elementary art test

  1. too funny – for many reasons, it’s just too funny.

  2. good to know it’s not just me….

  3. Heather

    Yes we think it’s the most ridiculous thing every heard of but with the whole world driven toward data we are afraid that if we don’t try to come up with our own first some idiot who doesn’t know anything is going to come in and make them up for us. Also afraid that if we can’t “prove” our worth they will cut us one day.

    • good point heather. although i’m not sure i subscribe to this solution even thought i don’t have another to offer at the moment. the idiots are already in charge here-art for elementary kids is but a thing of the past. let us know how it works out for you.
      CA established “standards” for art (along the lines of math and reading) which are completely ignored.

      i still favor bucking the system as opposed to submission. taking my crayons elsewhere to color…

  4. Julie

    In my Colorado district, they have Standards and a curriculum alignment plan which we all need to follow. Colorado has now changed our standards and we will probably be getting a new curriculum. We also have had a fifth grade assessment until the curriculum alignment came along and then they ended it until further notice. I was against this assessment also, until I saw it and saw how the students did on it. While most of the kids did score extemely well, it helped me to recognize the ones that did not. In our data driven education environment this is a way to prove ourselves and since our salaries will be based on these assessments sooner than later, we will all need to accept the assessment as part of our work as art teachers.

    • i don’t think i can ever accept the illusion that a data assessment driven education is the best we can do.
      here in CA we have art ed standards too. they are largely ignored and only adhered to as an after thought when it is convenient.
      just my experience…

  5. India

    I have taught art for 21 years. Besides making me old, it has made me frustrated with the role of the arts in our schools. If schools or districts want to show how bright and shiney they are, they bring out the arts. And then, as budgets are cut…but what is more frustrating is when art teachers try to justify our worth and existentce by creating knowlege based tests. We need to be “accountable.” Yet, the assessments we develop, in order to establish our validity, move education in the wrong direction. The focus has been on convergent thinking, one correct answer possible. In assesing art outcomes, we are best served with using assessments that promote divergent thought- critical thinking, visible thinking (Project Zero), creativity, (Torrence)….

  6. yes, India. i can see you speak from experience. it always ticked me off that the teachers wanted to use the artwork the students created in my art classes
    (remember, i was teaching weekly art lessons as an unpaid volunteer parent-so art was obviously not part of the official curriculum) for their Back to School Night and their Meet the Teachers Night and any other publicity stunts in order to make their classroom stand out and shine. and yes, critical thinking, creative problem solving, and artful thinking are better suited for creating divergent rather than convergent thinking skills. i do wonder though whether or not this is the point anymore. creating convergent thinkers that will just accept the status quo and go along with things unquestioned. in my opinion, this is a recipe for sure disaster with all the problems our world currently faces. we need divergent thinkers more than ever. (and by the way, our city also treats the arts in this manner-
    they bring out the arts to show how great they are when in fact, all is crumbling beneath the surface. it’s just sad really. my favorite example of this is that in this city there are innumerable empty storefronts that suffer from neglect. following the broken windows theory, they have decided that
    Art Will Save! so even the local arts council backs this idea of getting artists to fill these windows (for free) with art (some dubious by my standards) that now art is in the forefront, the city supports the arts!, and artists all benefit by having a place to have their work shown! Yay! mind you, this is for free, the artist receive nothing (but hey- free Exposure!) and the city defines itself as supporting the arts! a win win, in their minds. ick! keep me away from that mentality!

  7. Cherie

    I’ve been handed the ‘job’ of art teacher facilitator to help the two elementary teachers who service over a 1,000 students each. My ‘help’ comes in the form of facilitating a way to assess each of their students to show both growth and achievement. Talk about two people who really want to take their crayons and shove them – you know where I’m going with this one! Stay away from Indiana!

    • thanks for the warning Cherie
      my new way of helping is to offer
      myself to a HS teacher locally
      for a Saturday indigo workshop at her
      home studio. free for her students.
      work around the bs. improvise.

    • Stacy

      Cherie – I’m also an art teacher in Indiana, too. I’ve been assigned the same task of “assessing” my K-5 students to prove “growth” and that’s pretty much where it stops. No how to or anything, I’m sure they’ll just tell me when I do it wrong 😛 I had an vice administrator who finally bothered to come into my room last spring for 30 minutes to observe me for the new state requirements. When she met with me for the evaluation, she told me that since I didn’t assess the students that day that I “need improvement” in that area, that having a discussion about art isn’t teaching art, and (the kicker…) that in my two 30 minutes classes a week (for K-3), I should be assessing the students every time they come to me. Fortunately I had a class coming in before my head could explode all over her…I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to this year when she gets to observe me six times. I guess reading through the state standards once really DOES make you an expert! Where is that winning lottery ticket I’ve been looking for???

      • Artcher Girl

        I teach inVirginia. We were all put together(elementary art teachers) and in ONE day had to make up art tests for each grade K-5 to give at the beginning of the year as a pre-test and again at the end of the year to show growth. My students have been so disappointed when the come into my class and I give them a test. What a party pooper! I just started testing this week.

      • first, let me say that i’m impressed that there are elementary art teachers in VA! and of course, this testing is the biggest bunch of nonsense. so what exactly do they intend to do with the test results? (my guess- eliminate elementary art!) but really, what do they tell you they will do with this information? who sees it? who interprets it? is it money related (as if i need to ask)? so the teachers made up the test (at least that!). what exactly does your test consist of? did they give you guidelines for it? i guess it is related to the state standards… good luck!

        where in VA are you?

      • Artcher Girl

        It is part of the new teacher evaluations. Virginia is one of the states opting out of “no child left behind” and must conform by having these intense teacher evaluations. Part (a large part) of our evaluations are setting goals and showing growth. That’s why we had to make and give the tests. We based them on our VA sols for art. We keep up with the data until we get evaluated. I get evaluated this year. I am glad we got to make up our tests at least. But they ARE first draft. I think they need more work. Making up tests isn’t really our strong point. I learned a lot about test design and what to be careful of. I am in Southwest VA. We are lucky that our area is art frienly. Many counties around us do not have. art teachers.

  8. are there any of you creating these tests who are publishing them online to share and get feedback? i’d also be interested in knowing how they work out for you in the end. the thing that bothers me most about this is that all this testing is not about making a better experience for the students but just done to comply with the bureaucracy of education. perhaps since you are making the tests yourselves you have a better chance of making it work to your and your students advantage.

    • Artcher Girl

      We just made the tests a couple of weeks ago and are already using them. I doubt if anyone is publishing them…maybe the county will. The county probably owns them…school board office anyway. I am already seeing some areas I need to focus on. My fourth graders are already coming to me knowing all about geometric solids but they don’t know anything about negative space(the term anyway) for example. Second graders can recognize heiroglyphics but not differentiate between a geometric and organic shape. It has potential to be useful…needs to be fine tuned. It ‘s just too rough right now. I don’t feel very good about it.

  9. yeah I was looking for art tests. where is the funny part? Its a big pain. I tested today to see if any of my 1-2 graders could cut a valentine, they cannot. I have to come up with data driven scores and my job depends on it. so if what, my 6th graders cannot talk about the art that they about refuse to make in terms of the design principles then what I am a bad teacher? for christsake most of my kids go home to a dark room and a whipping. for the past years I have built large scale collaborative installations with my kids. they are very creative. and now I have to test them? 70% of my 6th graders can operate a pair of scissors. (they are new to the school this year) so where is the funny part?

  10. Artist in AR

    Wasn’t looking for a multiple choice benchmark test, I was looking for a formative assessment that would give me an overall picture of what my elementary students know about the elements and principles of art without any prompting or provocation from me. Just looking for a diagnostic pre-test. I teach in AR and we have frameworks, but not statewide set curriculum or specific ways we must teach the frameworks.

    • looks like after all this time (since this post was written in 2008) there still isn’t much help to be found. at least here in my neck of the CA woods, most art in elementary levels is written in the history books. even though there are art standards in the CA education code they are ignored and when there is an attempt to apply them it is always through english, math, or some other subject. i had to give up caring. i couldn’t care alone.

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