Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Terrible Test and Its Impact

I was in a school last week on the final day of testing and the principal, proud that there were an unexpected 13 opt outs, told me the untimed test was even more child abuse.

Yes to my Unity hack friend. I blame the UFT. For not speaking out and standing up to these outrages being perpetrated on teachers, students and parents. You and your fellow Unity hacks are politically and morally bankrupt. Go off to the AFT convention with your 800 philistines this summer and sell out once again.

Here is just one of many powerful comments being posted on Change the Stakes.
So, one school had an opt out rate of 13% on day one of math . . . but another 100 students were absent from school. Students who did not officially refuse the test opted out by staying home, bringing the refusal rate closer to 25%. Of course, when they return on Monday they'll be brought down to the auditorium for make up testing.

Students who came to school and quit twenty minutes into the test, or didn't bother with it at all, were confined in testing rooms with nothing to do, except read if they wanted, for three hours a day for three days.

Some students will have lost TWELVE days of instruction due to testing--three days of ELA testing, or staying home, if they refused by absenting themselves from school. Then three days of make up ELA testing. Then three days of math testing, or absences, if they refused by staying home, then three more days of lost instruction due to make up testing.

Overall the school's attendance rate plummeted to about 85% over testing. Teachers opted out too--over a dozen called in sick on day three of testing, and many more who came to school in the AM on the last day took the afternoon off . . . leaving their students behind in a building that has insufficient subs so TAs, administrators etc were doing everything they could to cover classes.

For the most part no instruction took place during first period at all. Then there was three hours for "testing," then in the afternoon both kids AND TEACHERS were so burned out, so fatigued, and simultaneously so wired, little to no meaningful instruction took place in the afternoon either. Student discipline incidents exploded--pushing, shoving, fighting. One boy had an episode, nearly psychotic, in which he kicked a locker so hard he broke his own foot.

This is a Receivership school. AYP, student attendance, student discipline, teacher attendance and performance on the tests are improvement indicators. The pressure to test is huge. Robo calls to parents, letters to parents, when parents sent refusal letters in, phone calls placed back to them, meetings to persuade them to opt in, etc.

Threats made by administrators to students--if you don't show us what you know by taking the test, you'll be placed in remedial classes next year.

It's awful, just awful.

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