Signs you might be freaking out about the CMT

Getting ready for March standardized testing in schools.


Not to be confused with Country Music Television, the CMT is the Connecticut Mastery Test and students in the state now take it every year starting in third grade. I thought it was just certain years, or every other year, maybe it used to be, but now the month of March in Connecticut is CMT time for children in third through eighth grades.

Have you seen some of the math problems on this test? For example, they need to not only be able to read charts, but create them. But what really gets me are the word problems. Here is one on a practice test that got sent home with my third grader:

Jeff needs to raise $80 to go on a class trip. He can do different jobs to earn the money. Jeff can work at the following jobs for the pay listed: Sweep garage, $1, dust, $1, return bottles, $2, wash the car, $3 or babysit, $5. Use the information about to show one way he can raise money, however Jeff can work for no more than 40 hours, no one job may be done for more than 10 hours, at least three different jobs must be picked and a total of exactly $80 must be raised.

Seriously? Are you lost yet? Then they have to fill out a chart with each job, the hours worked and the money earned. My head hurts just trying to think about this.

Then there is the reading, writing and editing session. The test scores reading comprehension, with multiple choice questions, editing mistakes and writing. There is also an open ended prompt, for students to write for 45 minutes.

Most adults I know would have a problem sitting down with 20 other people in the room and writing for 45 minutes straight about a special day or a time they went fishing. Not to mention my 8-year-old.

At an informational meeting we were at recently, I thought I heard them say the students will take two to three tests a week for three weeks. Looking over the material at home, yes, that is exactly what they said.

Two hour-long math tests, two 45-minute reading comprehension tests, a DRP, Degree of Reading Power test, also 45 minutes, I’m not sure if this is one of the tests or in addition to them.

Plus the 60-minute editing and revising test and a direct writing assessment test, 45 minutes.

I guess after all that the SAT should be a breeze. It just seems crazy to me that this is how our students and schools are assessed, which then impacts federal funding. I have heard talk about these tests for a few years, but now that my daughter is approaching DEFCON 3, it all takes on a whole new meaning.

Annabelle Howard February 01, 2012 at 04:33 PM
About 12,000 CT children are playing their way to CMT success by joining The Official CMT League. Playing about 40 mins a week reliably increases skills and scores. If you want more info, let me know :)


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