Opine I will

I am an elementary school teacher just trying to do the right thing

Let the Games Begin.

Let the games begin. Spring break ends on Monday and New York State, in their great wisdom, has elected to have their high stakes testing nonsense begin on Tuesday. Ignoring all the research about “vacation slide’ New York has elected to have students undergo a series of grueling tests immediately upon returning from Spring Break. Since this also kicks off New York State’s new teacher evaluation fiasco , commonly known as APPR, some think this scheduling decision is a deliberate attempt to skew scores downward.  I tend to agree.

When reviewing the schedule for this year’s battery, notice very little time for scoring. Scoring for the ELA assessments actually can overlap the period set aside for the Math assessments. This stretches resources and forces many districts to attempt to score both assessments on a single day. Most districts have no choice but to give students a day off while teachers struggle to score. Considering this year’s tests are considerably longer most districts will struggle to complete this task in one day.

The state has indicated that this should not be an issue and released a chart showing how long it should take to score each item.  In addition ,allotting 36 seconds to review a student’s math calculation and method is insane. We all should be concerned about accurate scoring. Rushing to score high stakes assessments could also skew scores downward. Again, I feel this is a deliberate attempt to skew scores downward.

Consider this, we’ve been told there will be questions that have never been released before. ? Another method to skew test downward.

The facts don’t lie. These tests have been moved up in the calendar by almost 1 month, forcing teachers to condense curriculum, they included expanded questions and content,  and  rushed scoring, all designed to skew scores downward. 

So let the games begin. Teachers are under attack, evaluations will be used to circumvent tenure, APPR is a mess, and our scores will become fodder for all those willing to take aim at public education.

And then we see headlines like this. Making us all wonder, who is on our team?

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