August 6, 2009

Back to School, and Ideas for our Gov.

School started for teachers in my district yesterday and the students come on Monday. We missed the first two days of preplanning due to our governor's asking each district to give us three unpaid furlough days. There will probably be more in the second half of the year.

This of course means that we all had one day to get our rooms ready because today is registration day and all the parents are here wanting to meet teachers and visit classrooms. It's tough, but I suppose it's better than watching a bunch of teachers get fired.

Dear Governor, if you want to save money and become popular instead of save money and have us throw darts at your photo, you should eliminate all unnecessary tests. Leave only those required by the federal NCLB act. Most districts have their own benchmarks anyway and some compelling recent studies show that the high school exit exams are worthless. That would be millions of dollars saved, tons of stress relief on teachers and students alike and you would be the governor that raised graduation rates with a snap of your fingers.

It's something to think about.


Ms. Yingling said...

Ohio did eliminate some tests-- I forget exactly which ones, but something like just the reading for 4th grade, and math for another grade. Eliminating tests saves a LOT of money. It is definitely a thought!

Teacherninja said...

Ms. Y: Yes, I hope our lobbysts in the state capitol are pushing for this. I'll contact my rep. bescause things are getting way out of whack. Thanks for the comment!

christina said...

Our state, and specifically our county cannot figure out what they are doing with standardized tests. As of now, in my middle school, we mandate not only the state standardized test, which takes approximately four days to take, but also three "benchmark" tests for three different subjects which take approximately two days per subject to take.

This of course does not even exclude the CELLA testing for our ELL students or the regular DRP testing for lexile.

*Or* the practice tests that we do school wide to 'prepare' the students to test. Hmmm...I always thought teaching was suppose to prepare them.

Yes. I agree wholeheartedly. We lost some good staff, but we kept the tests. Something is wrong with this picture.

Teacherninja said...

Christina, I hope we seriously examine all this during this time of cuts. As Stephen Krashen says, "Weighing the animal more, doesn't make it grow any faster." Thanks.

C. B. James said...

My school has the usual NCLB testing which was stretched out over 8 days last year in spite of strong objections from the teachers who wanted it all done in four. We wrote our own benchmark tests two years ago so they would be useful only to have the board of education force us to throw those out and institute twice as many tests focused on other areas.

I can't wait for the pendulum to swing the other way. I've been in teaching 20 years this year, and I can honestly say that everything that has come along has gone away.