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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Testing right before vacation, the DCPS way.

I get it we are in the age of testing and the district wanting to end the first semester before winter break is an idea even I can get behind, though why do all the other local districts already out for vacation seem to be playing chess while we are playing checkers?

All that being said, isn't testing the last few days before a long break a recipe for disaster? A lot of kids are going to miss and even more have checked out thinking of a fat man in a red suit bring merriment and joy.

I ask because of the following note I received. I edited it to take out all possible identifiers. the teacher in question did not want to get a lump of coal from the district.

   Holiday cheer comes in all shapes and sizes!  I teach XXX grade XXX.  Was told, earlier this month, I was not doing mid year PMAs.  TODAY, at 3:10 I was told the District IS REQUIRING xxx grade to do this assessment and the window is only open through Dec. 22.  Tomorrow, Dec. 21 is our school wide Holiday Celebration Day...hmmm...should we cancel that for xxx grade?  Or maybe, let's test kids on Dec 22 the last day before our break...those are sure to be accurate results. Well, maybe we can just wait to test on Jan. 5th or 6th our make-up hurricane dates.  Those dates will be MUCH BETTER because all of our students will be back and "ready to roll."   SURE!

I AM CRAZED by the lack of concern for classroom functions and the impact these kinds of decisions have on kids.  Really, I am living in a state of disbelief, daily.  Since December 1st our xxx graders have already had 320 minutes of testing.  Well, that isn't that much you might say.  The problem is, when kids are absent or testing schedules are "jostled" all over the day to accommodate IEPs...320 minutes means kids are effected for 2 weeks...that is not an exaggeration. are going to add another 80 minutes on the two days before break.  SPEECHLESS does not begin to describe how I feel. 

I have not taught ALL of my students at their scheduled class time for ALL of December.  I HAVE BEEN MANAGING rather than teaching.  It has been RIDICULOUS!  

Ridiculous is right, sometimes don't you feel like we are being set up to fail?

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