SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: The Testing Trainwreck That Is Coming

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Testing Trainwreck That Is Coming

Let's play make believe. OK kiddies?

I am a fourth grade teacher. For some reason or another I have only ten students in my class. Their names are; Huey, Dewey, Louie, Peepeye, Gertrude, Wanda, Rhoda, Harvey, George Jefferson, and Mary. Last year in third grade they all scored three's and four's in their state mandated ELA exams. This is the first year under the new evaluation process which their test scores will be part of my evaluation. In NYC this will be either 20 or 40 percent of my evaluation, and in Colorado 50%. Heck, in some states the test scores can and affect my pay.

So the big day comes. The kids take their ELA test. I wait for a few months and the scores came in. Let's see.

Huey: has dropped from a high 4 to a high 3. Why? It seems that during the 3 days of fourth grade ELA Huey was in a shelter with mom. It seems that dad was drunk after getting fired, came home, dinner wasn't ready and he put a beating on mom. Mom being scared took her and Huey to a shelter where Huey stayed during the course of the exam. I only recently found out about it.

Dewey: His scores dropped from a high four to a low four. Mom got a new job at night and he was left alone with his eighty one year old grandmother at night. Dewey stayed up every night until 11 30 to watch The Daily Show.

Louie: His score went from a three to a high one. The reason for this is he copied the answers of the kids sitting next to him. This year without this friend in class he wasn't able to keep up the charade.

Peepeye: His score went from a high three to a low two. It seems that all the nights of having Kraft Mac and Cheese for dinner and Doritios and grape soda for breakfast have caught up with him. Also the fact that mom is turning tricks for crack in front of his eyes seems to have been on his mind during the test.

Gertrude: What a great student! A high four. But unfortunately went down to a three. Seems mom's new boyfriend has taken a liking to her at the wrong time. Each night before the test the boyfriend climbed into bed with her when mom went down to the bodega to get some smokes.

Wanda: Three to a one. Seems the medication that Wanda takes had not been filled during the exams. She has a new script but there is some mishap with the Medicaid so Wanda had been without her medication during the exams.

Rhoda: Three to a two. The night before the first day of the test her mother put a cigarette out on her arm. The night before part two, her mom punched her four times in the head. The night before part three mom went to the store and Rhoda had to watch her little sister for five hours.

Harvey: From a four to a low three. The three nights during the test Harvey and his older brother decided to hangout in front of the Pathmark on 204th St and panhandle until 10 30 PM.

George Jefferson: Low four to a two. He was being recruited by the Crips each night during the exam. He was plied with bling and malt liquor. In fact George was involved in jumping a tourist from Finland on 149th St.

Mary: From middle of the road three to a two. Mary couldn't get to sleep each night of the exams. Too many gunshots ringing out in the courtyard. She had to sleep on the floor all in one room with her parents and her five brothers and sisters.

So there you have it? All their scores dropped. Of course it is mine, the teachers fault. How will this effect my evaluation? My pay?

What I find laughable is that no one looks at the variables, the multitude of variables that can affect a child and their education. These so called reformers are always looking for the easiest answers, the quick fixes when none exist.

Would any scientist when doing an experiment, or trying to reach a conclusion allow this kind of instability in their experiments? No. But the deformers, Mulgrew, allow it.

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