Students all over Oregon took new Smarter Balanced state exams for the first time in Spring 2015.

Students all over Oregon took new Smarter Balanced state exams for the first time in Spring 2015.

Rob Manning

Oregon’s statewide teachers union released the results of a survey Monday, showing widespread concerns about mandatory state exams.

Union teachers and leaders with the Oregon Education Association started raising concerns before students took the Common Core exams, known as Smarter Balanced.  

A survey taken by 1,200 teachers after the test finds nearly unanimous concerns about lost instructional time.  

Judy Harris, a middle school teacher in the Central Point School District, recalled the case of “Raoul” — a Spanish-speaking student who loves wood shop, but has trouble reading.  

“He missed valuable time in his favorite class, last year as well, to continue testing, day in and day out,” Harris said. “It culminated in this: at one point last year, Raoul simply sat in front of the computer with tears in his eyes, and he clicked through the answers just to be done with it.”  

The OEA collected more than 160 pages of comments in response to open-ended questions.

Backlash to the tests has been strong at times, with thousands of Oregon students opting not to take the tests last spring.

The first year’s results weren’t used to assess the quality of school instruction, though they’re expected to next year.