This week you guys took the FSA reading. Next week you will take Geometry. Some of you will take Algebra, and the following week you will take Biology. In other words, you will have four weeks of testing. I am already nauseated on your behalf and for myself because I prefer teaching to babysitting.
We will lose eight instructional days due to these insane assessments.
This is the part where it is very hard to refrain from negativity. Call me possessive, but I don't like sharing you guys with cubicles, timers, and assessment scripts that are as fun as chewing Styrofoam. In fact, I downright loathe these tests and envy Finnish schools who have only one standardized test throughout a student's high school career. One test to demonstrate...yep, these students are ready to graduate high school,and here's the novelty, they all are, ready to graduate high school because while others were testing, they were actually learning.
It is no secret, we have missed the boat by a big 'ol mile when it comes to this testing insanity. With a school the size of Pace, the testing numbers are astronomical.
I am not joking in the least when I say merely printing the testing locations has drained my ink cartridge to alarm status. Twenty pages per testing location times 4 different test equals= 80 pages (look who is ready for Math FSA...).
As you guys are finishing up these tests in the next few weeks and doodling on planning sheets for hours on end, I want to give you a break from the bubble letter display of who you love this week and provide you with a thought to ponder while you are wasting valuable time we will never get back and passing on novels we will never read because the system would not let you claw out of your cardboard cage long enough to actually learn. Here's your question (s)?
Have you ever stopped to consider who put that laptop out for you? Who placed that pencil at your station or pulled up that testing site for you? In case you are not aware, they don't have machines that drop pencils, lay out planning sheets, or print testing rosters. As some of you may have noticed, I have a bad habit of answering my own questions, so I will once again, take the liberty of answering.
The answer is Mrs. Hoomes, Mr. Goodwin, Mr. Gray, and a handful of paraprofessionals who have been doing this day in and day out two times a day (morning and afternoon sessions) for the last month for over five hundred students each day. They did it last year too and the year prior to that one. Yes, they are using their advanced degrees to lay out pencils. This is not in their job description. Never once did they say, "You know what I would really love to spend my days doing....laying out pencils... checking headphones..." And yet they do it, for you because somebody has to do it.
You are not obligated to tell them thanks. It would be a nice gesture, but an even greater gesture might be to pass that ridiculous test, get yourself an advanced degree, lobby for education, and find a way to help us end this madness.
And if you choose to forego college, which contrary to public opinion is still a very good option, I hope you will find yourself a trade that will serve you well in this life, and for the love of God, weld us together a machine with a mechanical arm that will drop out pencils and simultaneously lay out laptops with the touch of a button.
'Tis Mad Indeed,