Tag Archives: STAAR tests

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 – STAAR – Assessment Tails Wagging the Dogs of Education. Academic Lockdown

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 – STAAR – Assessment Tails Wagging the Dogs of Education. Academic Lockdown.

This is for all educators across the school districts across Texas.

Good Morning Boys and Girls,

I hope you are rested, well-fed, anxiety free, and prepared for the state assessment tests beginning today. The fact that your educational future is dependent upon your performance on this test should be put far back into your mind.

My career as a public school administrator began in central office when it was TABS. Takes you back doesn’t it? Texas Assessment of Basic Skills if I recall. It was part of the 1984 education reforms.

When I moved to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in 1989 my entire division’s opening lines for presentations to educational institutions were: “Good Morning, my name is _______ . I am from TEA and I have NOTHING to do with Assessment or PEIMS.”

However, what goes around comes around. Captain Hair Spray, then governor of Texas and now in charge of our nation’s energy and Texas A&M Student Body elections, line-item vetoed the entire agency where I then worked and removed $270 MILLION dollars ANNUALLY from public schools, public libraries and institutions of higher education. This single stroke of a pen sent me and many others spiraling downward into the pits of Assessments – probably located in the same level of Dante’s Hell as the politicians are.

Here is a look back on my career in assessment.

RP Unemployment – Scoring (we do not grade) assessment tests for $10.00 an hour or $11.50 an hour at night from 4:30PM – 10:30 PM. I would tell you more, but I might still be under Pearson non-disclosure papers. My therapist and I are still working through this repressive period of my life which I usually refer to as seeing “the asshole of education.” You talk about tax dollars at work – assessment is the place. And no, scoring is not always done by teachers or any other types of educators. If one can produce a piece of paper from an accredited educational institution with fancy writing and fog a mirror you are pretty much in.

I was fortunate to obtain a position in a central Texas school district as a central office administrator. Please, allow me to share my assessment experiences and your tax dollars at work.

One Year – I was An Assessment Bathroom Nazi – my role was to visit four assigned campuses in the morning and the same four in the afternoon. My duties were to relieve the individual guarding a bathroom for their 15 minute potty break. Please note there was another brigade of Assessment Lunch Nazis moving around their respective campuses to allow the actual test proctors a 30 minute lunch break. Also note that most of us driving around the district were highly paid central office administrators who also receive district mileage per diem.

One Year – I proctored the testing of a single 5th grade student in the campus’ computer lab. I suppose I was placed in that location because I was a technology administrator and he was placed there because he took his test via a tape recorder. This adorable young man was alone because his testing style accommodations included that he listened to the test via recordings.

For those not familiar with the ever changing testing rules, test proctors are not allowed to sit, eat, have a cell phone, check email if in computer lab, read, average grades and/or do anything else to be productive and alleviate the instant boredom for the next three and a half hours that sets in as soon as the student begins the test.

Remember the students are allowed to have snacks. I do not remember this extremely bright young man’s name, but at one point he looked at me and said “Dr. D. You look awful. Would you like some of my snacks?”

One Year – I proctored three fifth grade students in a classroom in a portable building. Just before I was to start reading the instructions at precisely at 8:30 AM – must be read verbatim at this time according to rules – I realized I had not signed out the instruction manual when I signed all of the other documents I had to sign that morning.

I think to myself – I am an experienced educator. I got this. “Hey, two boys and one girl. Seems I forgot something. Let’s all go back in the main building. I will get what I need and you can get a free bathroom break.” Off we go – still in single file – We are locked out of the main building. Remember, I do not get to take a cell phone.

Fast forward – Bang on outside door until somebody opens it; I sign document that says I forgot to pick up instruction manual; I must initial and resign document that I states I picked up instruction manual; students get free bathroom opportunity; I do not get to go and at 8: 38 AM verbatim instructions are read to three students.

10:05 AM– Campus counselor interrupts testing by knocking on door of portable classroom to inform me that I must be written up for not following rules and forgetting my instruction manual and not starting the test on time. I politely remind her that I came looking for her prior to the beginning of test, within time frame and she was off campus – also against the rules. “So I am going to have to write you up too, including the interruption of the test so you could tell me.”

Next morning – the truly awesome principal calls me in and together we discuss (i.e. Eye rolls over Starbucks) the two write ups – hers and mine. I still remember him saying as he shredded all of the write-ups “Assessment days suck! Well, I have to go earn my highly paid administrative salary and let Coach Jones go to the bathroom.”

That May I retired from education. Assessment – the Cesspool of Education.

Good luck, Boys and Girls. Good luck educators. And God Bless Texas and its Public School System.

Sunday, April 3, 2016 – Why you should vote. Or Read Who Else is on the Ballot. Mary Lou Brunor

Sunday, April 3, 2016 – Why you should vote. Or Read Who Else is on the Ballot. Mary Lou Brunor

A little something to discuss tomorrow – post STAAR Hangover Monday.

This is long, but if you care about what children learn and what teachers teach then keep reading and know this name – Mary Lou Brunor.

Boat (800x333)

Copyright Delia R. Duffey

This is for those of you who have stated “I do not like the candidates running for president so I am not going to vote.” I would ask that you reconsider especially if you teach and/or have children or grandchildren in school or pay taxes. Here are some reasons why you should exercise your right to vote.

  • It is a right given to us in our democracy.
  • Men and woman across the world have sacrificed their lives and continue to sacrifice daily to ensure our right to vote and to provide and protect this so others are able to vote.
  • When you do not vote, it is a vote of sorts and Candidate Apathy always wins.
  • Another idiot is about to leave her village and make decisions in Austin, Texas about education.

It is these other races on that ballot that should be examined and voted on. Membership on the State Board of Education is an example. One wonders how “we” as an educational institution got into this mess. Not voting is one way of how and why.

The 15-member elected State Board of Education (SBOE) sets policies and standards for Texas public schools. Its primary responsibilities include:

  • setting curriculum standards,
  • reviewing and adopting instructional materials (textbooks and other resources),
  • approving all things assessments and the testing corporations who administer the tests,
  • establishing high school graduation requirements,
  • overseeing the Texas Permanent School Fund,
  • praying and bible thumping, and
  • other duties as defined by the elected governor and the elected legislature.

As said, the SBOE’s responsibilities include all things assessment related. So please put the majority of the STAAR SNAFUS on the State Board of Education , the Texas Legislature and of course the testing company and not the Texas Education Agency.

This November there will be a ballot in East Texas, SBOE District 9. This is DEEEEP East Texas behind The Pine Curtain where dueling banjo music can still be heard in the twilight zone and rattlesnakes can be a part of a church service.


The ballot will have the presidential candidates running for election, local candidates running for local offices and candidates running for state offices. The name Mary Lou Brunor will appear as a candidate to be elected to the State Board of Education. This woman if elected will have significant say in to what the textbooks, policies and standards are used in schools across the nation. This could include public schools, charter schools, home schools, private schools and all other entities that use K-12 educational resources. The chance of her being elected to the SBOE is a distinct probability and possibility.

From her website, let me share some of her beliefs and I really wish I was making this up.

  • George W. Bush is a closet homosexual.
  • Barack Obama worked his way to pay for his drug habit as a gay prostitute.
  • Rick Perry is a closet homosexual.
  • School shootings are a result of The Ten Commandments being removed from school buildings.
  • Global warming is a “Marxist hoax.”
  • Dinosaurs and humans roamed the earth at the same time humans and Noah took dinosaurs on the ark. The dinosaurs were baby dinosaurs and did not live to reproduction age and that is why they are extinct.
  • “Islam is not a religion. Islam is an inhumane totalitarian political ideology with radical religious rules and laws and barbaric punishments for breaking the religious rules. If Islam is a religion it is a cult religion .…The USA should ban Islam and stop all immigration from Muslim countries because Islam’s stated goal is to conquer the USA and kill the infidels (nonbelievers).” From her web page.
  • Terrorists mass murderers are results of Liberals and Democrats.

If you do not vote, your county or parish could send one more of these koo koo birds to join others in making decisions about the content of what children are taught.

Just a reminder to educators in Texas, the current Chair of the SBOE has never taught in the public school system and home schooled her children. The governor appoints the chair of the SBOE. Of course he or she must be approved by the legislature.

The Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency is appointed by the governor. The current commissioner is a proponent of vouchers – known in some circles as “economic busing.” If you have the funds, you can send your child out of those schools that are not performing well, are high minority and have bad football teams. Yes, the football team transfer is true.

If you wonder how we as an educational institution got into this mess, not voting is one of the ways. Please reconsider and exercise your right to vote. Makes you miss the Gablers from Longview, doesn’t it? And we thought they were crazy.




April 1, 2016 – My New Part-Time Position

April 1, 2016 – My New Part-Time Position

Here’s What I’m Thinking.

Buddy Glasses

I have been thinking getting a part-time job. I noticed a need in school districts across Texas during the Spring Assessment Periods which began this week called STAAR. This is how springs are now spent in the public education system in Texas. Poor children expressing high levels of anxiety in fear of having to take, then possibility retake the assessment exam as a result of so much Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, I cannot even begin to describe.

Apparently school districts are going to have to keep tract of when, and for how long a student is gone while he or she goes to the bathroom during STAAR testing or as I like to call it – Academic Lockdown. This critically important data point in data analysis is part of the never ending stream of data the TEA is required to collect by the Village Idiots under the Dome as part of the “Let’s make them count the minutes in a school day.” And you thought the end of cursive writing was the downfall of public education.

I updated my resume to include more recent work experience to display my experience in bathrooms and urine. I believe this to make me uniquely qualified for such a position – which by the way – my position is sitting, which I understand is not allowed during test monitoring.


  • I go to the bathroom. Frequently. Usually when I want to, but on occasion, when I am not ready.
  • TT Toter – worked as temp in an urologist office in Austin, Texas during my unfortunate unemployment that was Perrily induced when $270 million annually generated revenue was taken from school districts, public libraries and institutions of higher education.
    • Responsibilities included: I actually filed files and faxed prescription renewals for Viagra to pharmacies, but there were times I did tote the TT. The TT doesn’t just flow to the lab on its own. Somebody has to walk it down there.
  • Dr. Bathroom Nazi in large urban school district in Central Texas.
    • Responsibilities included, but not limited to: driving to four campuses at 15 minute intervals to relieve the person guarding the bathroom so he or she could go potty. (Please note: I have a PhD and was being paid an exorbitant salary to do this on your dime, Mr. Taxpayer. Given the number of assessments, this was a responsibility for about 20 days each spring.
  • Actually worked for an unnamed assessment company scoring (we do not grade) a bazillion Fifth Graders responses to a single question, making $11.50/hr – also resultant of my unfortunate Perrily induced unemployment.

Non negotiables

  • Must make a very high and impressive salary to waste my time and your tax dollars.
  • Must have an Impressive Title – Examples:
    • Chief of Urine and Ur Not In
    • Number One in Charge of TT
    • Chief Executive Officer of Urine Patrol
    • You’re in Control Patrol
    • The Executive Director of Urinalysis Analysis Data Collector or
    • Something like that that has a certain stream or flow about it.

April Fool! I am not going to back to work.

Too bad the timed urine breaks during assessment and data collection are not part of an April Fool’s joke. One would think it would be, given all of the fools that created this legislatively and politically contrived mess call K-12 public education.

Ship wreck 2 (800x537)

Don’t forget – the only money maker in education is assessment!

Remember: Keep your voter registration card current; vote early and vote often; and God Bless Texas and teachers and school children of the state.



Friday, June 5, 2015 – Some Odds and Ends to End the Week. – TCU15, Rick Perry and STAAR Tests

Friday, June 5, 2015 – Some Odds and Ends to End the Week. – TCU15, Rick Perry and STAAR Tests

I like college baseball. Mostly because it means college football is just around the corner. But the NCAA baseball playoffs are at the Super Regional level. The winners of the Super Regional games go the College World Series. And TCU15 is the funniest thing I have heard all week. Gig ‘Em Aggies!

TCU top athletic brass tried to prevent the Aggies from purchasing General Admission tickets to the A&M/TCU Super Regional baseball game this weekend by establishing a promo code – TCU15. The promo code was emailed to loyal Horned Frogs. But then the promo code, TCU15, was tweeted to the world and Texas Aggies purchased all of the general admission tickets using the promo code. Tickets sold out before Thursday’s public release.

Granted, as you Frogs are saying – “from many of those seats you cannot see the batter.” Probably so, but that batter is going to see a sea of maroon clad screaming Aggies from the batter’s box. I am so ROFL. Wait until they sing War Hymn at the 7th inning stretch.

I told you Captain Hairspray would not wear a hat tossing his into the ever-growing presidential ring. Well-known among Austin media and photo shoots. No hat. I am not sure about that glistening sweat. It did not work well for Mr. Nixon. You and the TCU athletic brass need to retake that communications/media course.

Oh Ship! I see where in Houston ISD, thousands of STAAR retest answer sheets were reported missing by a shipping company. Perhaps they were shipped with the anthrax. Would love to be a fly on the wall when HISD administrators have to inform parents their child may have to go summer school as a result.

Have a wonderful weekend and BTHO TCU!