Friday, April 3, 2015 – Snarky Friday – Assessment
To select this Friday’s snark about, I imagined the following as giant piñatas and I was beating the crap out of them – the state of Indiana, Ted Cruz or Assessment in Texas schools. The one with the most candy today was Assessment in Texas schools.
Last week was STAAR Testing in the Texas public school system. Assessement. Testing. What have you learned? How do we know? Can a test show what you know?
So this week’s Friday question to the Texas Legislature as always is – “What have you done for the people of Texas this week? Here is a list, including, but not limited to:
- Increased anxiety levels among all school aged children
- Increased anxiety levels among all parents and guardians of school aged children
- Increased anxiety levels among all teachers and instructional assistants
- Increased anxiety levels among all campus and district level administrators
- Decreased instructional time in the classroom
- Ineffectively utilized teachers and administrators throughout the educational system
- Increased corporate earnings for Big P and others profiting off the children and the educational institution under the heading of “Assessment.”
After Captain Hairspray decided to take millions away from the boys and girls of Texas schools by closing The Form Factory where I was working, and put them toward your toll roads, I was unemployed. I was fortunate to secure a job in a nearby school district in a central office job to complete my educational career.On the educational side (not the business side) everyone at this level was Master’s Degree and higher. There were about 25 of us.
During assessment week, or Academic Lockdown, as I like to call it, every one of us was out of our offices and on campuses. My job was to ride around the district visiting my four assigned campuses. I was a Bathroom Nazi. My job was to go to a campus and give one of the people assigned to guard the bathroom a 15 minute break and/or a 30 minute lunch break. I would sit in front of the bathroom, with no book to read, no phone to look at or no music to listen to because these and about a hundred other items are forbidden in the testing rules. I was happy to have a chair to sit in.
My job was to ensure only one student entered at a time and only stayed a reasonably allotted time. When the campus bathroom Nazi returned, I would leave and drive to another campus and do the same routine. I did this for four days.
These are your tax dollars at work. And this model is carried out throughout the state in over the 1000+ by God Independent School Districts.
And if you think that is scary, guess what I did while unemployed? I scored assessment tests. As they say in show business – You ain’t heard nothing yet!
Oh yes – the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is a good place to share your thoughts regarding assessment, but please do not place blame this mess on the agency. As all state agencies are required, it is just following the laws set forth by the Texas Legislatures. So if you desire change contact your representatives.
Maybe a new state education slogan could be: Texas Education: Where Every Child is Assessed!
God Bless Texas and God Bless Texas Education. Feel free to substitute your own belief structure.