Day 39 of 180

Obama’s education administration acknowledged their part in making our public schools testing factories.  Only 2% of a year should be high stakes testing, apparently.  Okay, so in my state our students take the MCAS or the PARCC.  My students still take the MCAS.  Right now, in tenth grade it takes up five days between English and Math.  Seven days if you include the two days of Science the year previous.  Five days is one week, or approximate 2.78% of an 180 day school year.  However, I only see my students half the year.  So really, it’s 5.56% of my academic time.

That doesn’t include two district determined measures – that the state insists on currently. (2 days)

The six unit exams that I’m supposed to give – that the district insists on currently (6 days)

So in total, for my tenth graders, that’s 5 + 8 = 13 days of testing that I didn’t create to show mastery of the materials.

Today, some of my students began a 5 day (45 minutes/day) abridged mock-MCAS.  That’s another 5 days of educational time that I’ve lost.

Remind me again what the point of teaching is?

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Day 37 of 180

I made a decision earlier this year, that I wouldn’t be returning to this school in the Fall.  I’m scared, and I’m sad, and I’m so very angry.  Is it me? My innocent naiveté that “that’s the way it is here” isn’t a good answer seems to back me into corners where I can’t stay.   I love teaching.  I love watching students’ brains at work.  I’m not good with the educational politics of quantity over quality that are dominating the schools.

For P-Diddy it was all about the Benjamins.  For Weird Al it was all about the Pentiums.  For schools it’s all about the numbers: numbers enrolled, numbers graduating, SPED numbers, SEI numbers, MCAS numbers, school level numbers, this test numbers, that test numbers, numbers numbers numbers.

And so I find myself counting.  Day 37 of 180 with the kids, and 183 for me with built in PD days.