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Year 2 Day 28- This is ONLY a Test

by admin on September 29th, 2004

Goin’ Yom Kippur on your ass.

I had the same student call me a iJewi again in class. I don’t get it. It’s really beginning to bug me. I solved the problem though. He’s forbidden from coming back into my classroom until he’s completed a 10 page report chronicling the history of the Jewish faith, and the conflicts they’ve endured over the past 2000 years. He needs to partially focus on the contributions of Jews in the United States, scientifically, politically, and culturally. Concluding with a discussion of racism, classicism, sexism, religious bias, and stereotyping in general and how they all negatively effect the school and work environments. I know the kid pretty well, and his work habits (zero assignments in 6 weeks in my class) It’ll take him all year to do it. I bet he doesn’t call me a Jew anymore though.

He came in with the assignment sheet today…

“What do I get for doing this?”

“Educated.”

He left, and didn’t call me any names.

TESTING 1, 2, 3….

In an attempt to raise our test scores all teachers are being asked to spend one day a week going over English, and Math standards in their regular classes. This means that one day a week I’m going over concepts like absolute value with my economics students. The following week I might go over finding the main idea in a paragraph. It’s a waste of time. Our school system has become so focused on tests now that we might as well just teach the entire year to what’s on the test. No interesting stories, no art, no experiments, no PE, no sports. School has gotten away from educating kids and gone to trying to get state and national test scores to raise. With as much leeway as there is in reading test scores, what do test scores REALLY tell you about kids anyway?

The reason I bring this up is that I forgot to do my Math lesson today. I had a lot of kids trying to finish up work for the end of the session tomorrow. I slipped on the math procedures lesson. My principal sent our VP around to collect the work today. Needless to say, mine wasn’t in there. I made the copies though, so I guess tomorrow to satisfy him, I’ll teach absolute value, instead of teaching our kids how to open a business, or balance a checkbook. How lame. 3 other teachers forgot to do it too. What the staff should say to the Admin. is, look, when you start doing things for US, we might do some things for you.

When I was at the comprehensive high school they used to make me do English lessons during my ceramics class multiple times a week. The kids hated it, and I’m sure they tried their best to learn the concept of comma placement, when all they really wanted is to play with clay. What this basically tells me is a couple of things

1) Our English and Math teachers don’t do a good enough job on all levels teaching these concepts in the first place.
2) Tests scores in our schools are THE most important thing we do.

What else could you deduce from having to do this. If art and history teachers are having to cover math and English concepts in their classes, someone isn’t doing a good enough job somewhere down the line.

You haven’t seen a dumbfounded face until you stop kids from drawing to let them know… iOK, I have a lesson on Probability we’re going to do, so stop your drawings and listen up.i

If I were still in high school, and they kept forcing this testing crap down my throat, I’d just go into the test and fail it on purpose. The test scores have no real meaning for the kids. HEY KIDS SCORE HIGH ON THIS STANDARDIZED TEST! IT’LL MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF. It holds no weight with any of the people who really matter–The kids and the teachers. The test scores don’t help them get into college. They don’t help them get a hot meal. They don’t throw you back into 1st grade if you botch it. Teachers don’t get raises if they have outstanding test scores. Really, what is the purpose?
WE HAVE TO KNOW HOW WE RANK WITH OTHER COUNTRIES, AND OTHER STATES, OTHER DISTRICTS, OTHER SCHOOLS… .

If you’re spending tons of time focusing on tests strictly for bragging rights somewhere, I can’t think of a larger waste of time.

Welcome to Education.

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One Comment
  1. I think you should be a motivational speaker.

    You could travel around to different continuation schools, explaining to kids that they don’t HAVE to go on welfare and sniff paint once they’re out of school; they can pursue real goals and shoot for that dream job at Dairy Queen.
    At least you wouldn’t have to worry about standardized testing or being insulted by anti-semitic dirtballs.

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