The World’s Newest Testing…Evolved!

Pretty much what it says.

Pretty much what it says.

This posts on the last day of SBAC testing for regular calendar, or “traditional schedule” schools. The theory that my school had in delaying testing until the last possible moment was that the various “bugs” would be worked out. An interesting theory, but ultimately foolish. If we had been in direct contact with other schools…that had done the testing…that would have been a valid point. However, just waiting has put us in a position where errors are magnified, and solutions are few and far between. We have gone from having small problems that might have frustrating solutions, to huge versions of the same problems.

Take the current situation. Forget that a substitute teacher had no idea that we were testing. Forget that a second sub refused to assist in testing, wanting nothing to do with it,m saying we were “massively out of compliance.” Forget that students had a lack of the hardware, in iPads and headphones to take the test. Let’s let all that go.

Instead, let’s hit this disturbing stat. Somehow, in grade seven, 90 percent of the students failed to submit their final answers for the test, on one third of the testing material. I don’t see how this happened, but then I was in a different testing room than most. If there were grades of this test following the students, then the overwhelming majority would be unfinished. That’s a huge problem.

As a result, we are gambling that tomorrow will be another open day of testing. It might, it might not…as it is the last of all possible days. Under these conditions, students would sign on, ratify their final answers, and then sign off. Who knows how make up exams are supposed to happen, in these final moments.

This testing “evolution”, as Darth calls it, has gotten out of hand. Beyond the simple technical problems, which were predictable, the problems in the human medium were the simplest, yet most rough in impact. When no administrator was present with today’s session code…my students couldn’t even start. Whole classes were missing, from testing, iPads not present, and a day’s worth of activity lost. If this test were being used as a benchmark for No Child Left Behind, our school would be subject to the highest levels of scrutiny.

And hence, the art. Modeled after the famous 1961 Fantastic Four No. 1, we see our hero, frustrated, a Thing of some sort, but not as evolved or powerful, and a Pony Torch. These heroes are arrayed against a Testing Evolution that is out of control, and wrecking their city, their home. I don’t really need to explain the metaphor, do I?

Tomorrow, I’m going to need to send another e-mail. I don’t feel bad about it, as I’m pretty sure it is hard to be more radioactive in employment than my co teacher and myself, at this point. Under normal circumstances, my students would be completely shafted by this monster of testing incompetence. What bugs me most is that a fair number of people that aren’t Darths have busted their humps to make this poor plan work…and like all Darths, our “leader” is already misleading, wheeling, and shifting blame.

Next Issue: Journey Into Nick!


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