Sunday, April 02, 2006

This Is Pretty Much The Entry You'd Expect From A Teacher This Time Of Year. If Standardized Testing Already Makes You Angry, Move On Along.

I have approached this topic from so many angles and still can't find a way to say what I mean without appearing to be just another teacher complaining about State testing and NCLB.

  • I once wrote this post detailing all of my teaching credentials and how they evidently still aren't enough.
  • I thought about detailing my lunchtime rant the other day where, fist pumping the air, I declared I would not even take the time to urinate (and yes, I said urinate, I'm not a savage) until all of my students were performing at or above grade level--a promise on which I had to recant a mere hour later. I just don't have the bladder I did in my twenties.
  • I almost wrote about how guilty I felt taking a moment at the computer writing something other than lesson plans or plans of intervention for my students who are scoring in the needs improvement range.

Instead, I'll just give you this: Someday, the teeth that our Government have put in all this testing will be a good idea.

You see, in reaction to the testing mandates of NCLB, the States have finally started to pass some accountability to the student. Right now, all the accountability is mine. Right now, I have to list a plan of intervention for every student who is scoring in the needs improvement range for every standard in which they are deficient. Right now, those plan supersede any plans that I as a competent teacher had made to prepare my students for testing (because all we do is play dominoes, right?) Right now, we will test every 10th grade English student every year so we can compare the test scores of my students from one year to the next. So what's the constant in that equation? Who are we testing?

Me.

Soon--and by soon I mean in about five years--our students will have to pass these tests in order to pass to the next grade level. However, in the mean time, that five years is about enough time for the Government to shut my school down for not making adequate yearly progress. And won't I be the hireable prized teacher then?

Next time we are ready to draft another sweeping educational reform package, I would propose that those legislators swing by a school and go a couple of rounds with Go Away and The Mean Girls.

3 comments:

Declan's Mom said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...

well.....
here in the Great State of Texas
(the birthplace of state standardized testing requirements-where all of our students are proud to be part of George Bush's educational miracle-knowing they can go into the workforce and compete nationwide with anyone doing what they were trained for best-taking state tests!)
students already have to pass tests in the third and fifth grades to promote and of course exit level tests to graduate-- and I have sad news for you.....
It is still ALL OF THE TEACHER'S RESPONSIBILITY. Paychecks are being tied to performance right and left here.
The true goal of NCLB is to eliminate public education. honest.
--
sweet potato

elementaryhistoryteacher said...

I've said it before in other comments and I'll say it again...my classroom is open to any legislator, any parent, any academic, any reporter who has an opinion but aren't "responsible" for the outcome. Come on in and stay for awhile. Come on in and participate if you think it's so darn easy. Our tests start Monday. You can just feel the anxiety level creeping up in our building. Three deep breaths and keeeeeeeep smilin':)