A Day In The Edu-Gulag.

These ponies are upset because they can't leave.  Like my meeting today.

These ponies are upset because they can’t leave. Like my meeting today.

Today, I had a training on the SBAC Test…that’s the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Standardized Examination. It’s the new big state test, and is entirely computer driven. The technology is intended to be Computer Adaptive, meaning the test will reconfigure itself to skills of the student, as it determines what they know and don’t know. That’s actually mildly interesting, but no one is able to demonstrate that to us, the teachers.

The “pull out” meeting took me out of class for the whole day…which I don’t enjoy. Furthermore, the meeting was entirely an advertisement for the few virtues of the test, while glossing over the technological problems attached to it. Problems like student logins, or failure to actually report data back to the teachers, so we might in fact use the scores for a good purpose, like informing our instruction. Instead, there were video presentations, exercises asking us how much we understood about the material, and discussions about “The Work.”

“The Work” is the new buzzword here at the Edu-Mountain, referring specifically to the administrative side of lesson planning and content delivery. Filling out forms about other forms, which in turn talk about a lesson that you may or may not do. When discussing those things, like state standards and testing, the term “the Work” or “This Work” comes out frequently. Things like, “That’s why This Work is so important to the achievement of the students on SBAC”

Today, the buzzword “the Work” was dropped 27 times. I kept track, via hash marks, like someone in prison.

That’s what drove the artwork, which was hard to do. It was hard because the Suits and Edu-Lords were so concerned about The Work, that there was a serious frowning upon my general process, which focuses my attention by providing the distraction of drawing. As a result, I kept taking ponies out of my bag, to join me in this strange Edu-Prison. The ponies didn’t seem to happy about it, but we eventually got through it.

Oddly, the discussion often turned to politics, which was an odd choice. Real worry among staffers about what DeVos, or the Federal Government might be doing to funding, testing, or standards. I figure I should do a post about that soon enough.

Still…this Wednesday post didn’t make my posting deadline for Wednesday, as a result of all that madness. I think the ponies are upset about that too.

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