Opine I will

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

Archive for the month “March, 2017”

We enter the darkest days of education.

Today we have entered into one of the darkest days in education. In New York State the abusive Common Core tests get underway.  Our students, some as young as 8 years old will begin the grueling process of reading passage after passage and answering an unforgiving array of multiple choice and essay questions. These children will sit for at least 9 hours to fulfill a political ideology that has nothing to do with educating the child.

With these ‘new” untimed tests, some children could potentially sit for 6 hours on each of the 6 testing dates. Their only break will be a sequestered supervised lunch break where they will be monitored to ensure they do not discuss the test with their fellow students.

Our children will struggle with questions that have more than 1 plausible answer. They will have to select the best plausible answer. Questions will ask them , for example, to analyze paragraphs 3, 14 , 24 & 26  and then choose the answer that best describes their relationship. They will be forbidden to give their opinion in an essay as they regurgitate details to fulfill the task at hand.

When we look at past tests, we can almost guarantee some passages will be purposely confusing due to the use of names and customs they are not familiar with. This makes it extremely difficult for them to  utilize their own schema to decode the information provided. Some passages are above grade level and there are also  field questions that are not counted are part of these tests.

Teachers must sit by as our students struggle for hours. We will observed children get physically and emotionally ill taking these tests. We are forbidden to assist or even discuss the tests.

Students who refuse the test must sit in the same room with those taking the test. They are expected to sit quietly and read for at least 90 minutes. Have you ever tried that? How do they expect 8-12 year old kids to do that?

Folk, this is institutional child abuse! I have written about this and about how this is the time of year that I am ashamed to be a teacher.  We all should be ashamed, when we make these children take these tests to fulfill a political agenda and provide absolutely no valid  data that helps children excel.

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