Hell Week and the Terror Continues
Hell week continues..
Last week NYS students were subjected to 270 minutes of abusive high stakes tests courtesy of the New York State Regents, New York Governor Cuomo, New York State Commissioner of Education John King, The New York State Legislature, The Federal Department of Education Secretary Arnie Duncan, President Obama, and Pearson. They all love to take the credit for their ‘ education reform’ agenda, so they rightfully also deserve the blame for the outrageous abuse that occurred this week.
These so called assessments were not assessments. They were instruments of terror. They caused anxiety, fear, mass confusion, self doubt, turmoil, and threats on our most innocent. After all isn’t that what terror is? In addition this terror was caused by those with an agenda that is radicalized by false information, and a deep seeded belief that only those who claim to know the answer must be right.
Our children were forced to complete 3 days worth of tests which lasted 90 minutes each day. They were forced to listen to 20 minutes of warnings, instructions and admonitions before even being allowed to begin their arduous ordeal. Many were threatened with suspension, the lost of privileges and activities if they did not succumb and take these tests. Parents were admonished for being poor parents for demanding their rights as parents. Teachers were ordered to stay mum about what they thought and saw. Teachers were told that their right to share their objections were stripped away and ordered to remain silent.
Children, cowered in fear in bathrooms, nurses offices and at home in fear of these tests. Administrators walked the halls in search of any teacher that may suspiciously be hovering over a child without asking if that teacher was offering words of comfort.
Those children who took on these tests worked like they were in sweatshops plowing through question after question while watching the clock. Many of those who did not reach their quota of answered questions by the set time, will face severe penalties that will be on their academic records forever.
As a teacher, I can’t talk about the individual questions which were more akin to a paragraph scavenger hunt. Questions that asked which paragraph changed the focus or which paragraph best said this or that. I can’t talk about the embedded advertisements that were seen by captive children, or misspelled words, or even reading passages that were beyond grade level. I can’t talk about recycled reading passages that some children had the privileged to see prior to the test, or even how our children were forced to endure field questions that added to their anxiety.
Yes, all those I mentioned above are responsible for the terror in the eyes of the children as they sit on the edge of their seats next week as I hand out the Math tests. Yes I’ll see their legs twitching, I’ll see them upset as they try to race through another 270 minutes of abuse. I’ll dry their tears as they explain that they tried hard. I’ll watch them place their heads on their tests like I saw this week, when facing exhaustion andas they are digging down for the reason to go on.
All of those responsible, sit in their offices, stand at their podiums, and spout their BS. yet, none of them sat with a room of children and really looked into their souls and reflected on the damage they have done.
Part 2 of Hell week continues..