Queen of the Quadratic

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Testing Week

The only benefit I see in state testing week is that I can actually spend a couple days over the weekend reading a novel. It has been a lovely treat.

It will also afford me some time in the evenings to read and play games with my children.

I just realized there is another benefit! Once this week is over, I can go back to teaching real math again! I hate this little annual reprieve from educating that I have to endure.

Here's what really bothers me about this testing... The material they are being tested on is what they were to have learned 2 to 3 years prior to taking my course. The format in which it is presented is such that the reading of the test is more difficult than the mathematics. Due to this, I can't say that the data collected really reflects whether or not a student knows mathematics or if they just can't read but really have a gift with numbers and couldn't show it. (I am not claiming that illiteracy is tolerable, but why should that be such a major player on a "math" test).

Then, they take this data and use it to "measure" my worth as a teacher. SO, test my students on material that I am not directly responsible for teaching them in a format that masks whether or not they can perform any mathematics and then determine whether or not I'm a proficient teacher on this measure... Sounds reasonable, right?

In addition to this, the fact that the students' education is disrupted mid-stream so that we can re-address these topics for whatever time period the administration sees fit (the time we were to spend on it was mandated to increase by 50% this year over last year). When this week closes, I'll have to spend another couple days to refresh the new information that I was teaching just before the upset so I can finish the unit that I started (which is a crucial topic for the subsequent courses).

Why do I keep teaching in public school? I really wonder....