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Monday, May 25, 2015

Finally able to breathe again...


I don't even go to my office in the mornings.  I don't even put my lunch in the small refrigerator there. Don't want to see notes hanging on my door.  Don't want to even walk past--never mind make eye contact with--any parent who is waiting.  There are lots of them.  Just because I am an "A.I.R. test administrator" now and not a counselor doesn't make time stop.  Children still have problems.  

But I go straight to "my lab" and get "my computers" ready for that day's session(s). 
Are headsets required? If they are, then I've learned that I must assure that computers' volume is appropriately set and certainly not muted.  That causes confusion at the "check for sound" part of the instructions.  "Can you hear...?  If not, raise your hand."  I dread raised hands, for a raised hand at that juncture means a student cannot hear.  Rebel Kim wants to say, "Don't worry about that, you won't really need sound," But that is not true.  They will need sound ( I think, for I am not allowed to look or listen-- Good God, my heart pounds when I see a few words over students' shoulder! Will I lose my job because I inadvertently read a sentence?!  No! Do NOT show me that error, upstanding want-to-do-your-best student!) and so, they and I must start over....

Once my computers are "up and running..." That's gotten better by the way, with weeks of experience. At the beginning of this six weeks time warp--that's what it feels like, that nothing matters except logging in successfully and HEARING THE SOUND!  

We're floating in "A.I.R.", baby!  Let the "A.I.R. rush through us! Students and I breathe "A.I.R. We gulp "A.I.R." when computers crash.  I, the all important Test Administrator ("see your TEST ADMINISTRATOR" pops up on alarm screens when something goes awry.. and Good God that is ME!  I am NOT a school counselor now!  I am not that job for which I prepared for four long years!  NO!  NO!  I am now the TEST ADMINISTRATOR, a job for which I prepared for...one half of one hour. 

I administered the Algebra and the Geometry EOCs.  Both allowed "hand held scientific" calculators for segments two. Neither gave any guidance which specific calculators would and would not be allowed. Test administrators were only given this document:   http://www.fsassessments.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Draft-Calculator-and-Reference-Sheet-Policy_6-30.pdf    It was up to me, then, as children showed me the calculator they'd purchased, to decide whether or not they got to use them.  

Hey, I am no math person. I got no clue what a CAS function is...and I don't know a QWERTY keypad from a "QWERKY" one. 

Testing in public schools is finally over.  Six weeks of "A.I.R." in schools.... What will we do with no "A.I.R."?

Maybe we'll finally be able to breathe...

7:36 am edt          Comments

Sunday, May 3, 2015

 My children are not aligned with Reading Plus...but Common Core is.

"To align means to bring something into a straight line, or an easy agreement."


My children HATE Reading Plus. It's "Common Core aligned." Lazy teachers love it.  They can assign Reading Plus and put my children and whatever might be left of their affection for reading into a stupor. But, baby, they got DATA.  And they are DRIVEN by DATA!  
My children HATE Reading Plus. Lazy teachers love it.  They can lazily "give grades" and judge children as successes or failures based on Reading Plus levels. They can also meet "district mandates" and have "ah-HA!  Gotcha!" evidence for parents when those parents come a-callin' 'round FSA ELA Reading Component failure time...

I HATE Reading Plus.  I hate the quickly moving white line that covers words and sentences to "increase reading efficiency" as my children plow through another BORING reading passage--I hear their sighs being heaved-- assigned by another lazy teacher just wanting something to put in the grade book.

My children are so much more than that!  I am sick of "Common Core" aligned anything. Good God, even the term "Common Core" makes my stomach turn.  Every initiative wants its resources to be "Common Core" aligned.  Yuck.  I don't want my children participating in ANYTHING "common!"  I want them in "unique" and "precious." Align that!  

I am sick of Jeb Bush and Arne Duncan and Barack Obama and Rick Scott and Pam Stewart and John Legg--in no particular order-- being in charge of my children and their education!  Get OUT of my children's lives with your heavy handed "initiatives!"  GET OUT! 


You are tightening the "you-will-NEVER-get-a-high-school-diploma" noose, aren't you?  You've already got the GED "Common Core aligned" and the results of that are devastating.  Read some startling statistics here: http://dianeravitch.net/2014/12/31/shocker-after-pearson-aligns-ged-with-common-core-passing-rates-collapse/

You've got the SAT "Common Core aligned" too (who is this guy David Coleman?): http://dianeravitch.net/2013/02/28/david-coleman-will-change-the-sat-to-align-with-common-core/.  Few high schoolers' necks will escape that noose.  Young people will stand on platforms built of their earnings of "Certificates of Completion" as you, the executioner of their futures, pull the lever.  

STEP ASIDE!  Let me put some ointment on those young people's rope chafed necks. CLIMB DOWN FROM THE PLATFORM! Let me climb the platform's stairs.  I've got a way to cut through those ropes. 

It's called a high school diploma.

Give it to them!

10:00 am edt          Comments

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