A Victory For Number Two.

The PSAT administration was a chore that did in a whole day of teaching.

The PSAT administration was a chore that did in a whole day of teaching.

This should have been posted on the calendar for Wednesday. This is the Wednesday post, but given how the “back end” of our web home operates, the system insists on perceiving it as a Thursday post. I would have had it posted by the deadline for Wednesday, but for some reason the digital work on the art looked absolutely terrible when I did it at school, so I delayed it until i arrived at my home “studio.”

Fairly typical for the day.

Today was an example of how Standardized Testing can take over a school day. I had to administer the PSAT in homeroom…which would be just fine, if homeroom were three hours or so long. Unfortunately, it is usually about half an hour, and honestly, it is half an hour that students don’t take all that seriously, because, well…it’s homeroom. It isn’t a class that you directly need, breakfast happens during it…it is well established as not that big a deal.

As a result…students show up late, or sometimes not at all. This delayed the “pre test bubbling” of the student demographic information, putting us slightly behind my testing schedule today. The testing, however, was able to be righted and put on schedule, to the satisfaction of me, the students, and also the College Board. That was fine.

The thing is…that took HALF the school day.

Lunch happened…followed by six classes that were only twenty minutes in length. You do not have to be an educator to realize that there isn’t all that much that you can do educationally in just twenty minutes. It’s a tiny amount of time, less time than we have on a so-called minimum day. Useless as instructional time.

I’m not a huge opponent of Standardized Testing. If executed efficiently and intelligently, it can give a large amount of useful information about students. The fact is…this PSAT administration was not a source of useful information to me, about my students. Heck…I will never have access to the data at all. Really…I just threw away a day of instruction, as I’m trying to start Mock Trial, for the sake of a monolithic force’s influence on my school and district.

That Monolithic Force, by the way, is the College Board. The same individuals that bring you the SAT exam, and other stress and nightmare inducing, future affecting exams.

So today…Cap is right. She’s a pretty damn effective super hero, but she knows when she is beat. The Standardized Test, with his No.2 pencil Eraser headgear and weird “bubble sheet” uniform, got to take the day. Granted…I have over a hundred more days to teach, and for students to learn…but after the mess of Symbiotes interrupting for the past two days, and now this…there are some serious obstacles to getting a major project off the ground.

Kind of the basic reality in the business of Public Education, True Believers.


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