I’m so Tired……

Here’s my rant, take it for what it’s worth.

When I started teaching 27 years ago (5th grade), in May we’d give the Stanford Achievement Tests. 4 days, maybe an hour a day and done. The tests would be mailed out, and the results would come back and you’d have a reasonably good idea of how kids stacked up against each other. Never had to leave the class.

Fast forward to 2012 (last year). In September, I’m out of the class for 2 days doing Fountas and Pinell assessments , even though the same kids had them done in May.

Then the reading intervention teachers have to do a Dibels baseline on Oral Reading Fluency, which takes a week. And they take another week at mid-year to do the same, so the kids aren’t getting any instruction.

Then at mid-year, I take another day to do more F & P testing to determine how much growth they’ve had.

In the Spring, there’s the ELA and Math exams which take up a full week.

Then, we teachers, have to score the exams before they get sent out to be given a magic number by State Ed. and if we’re lucky, we get the results by September.

I was out of my class 9.5 days last year for testing and test scoring. Multiply that by 2 or 3 teachers per grade level, factor in sub costs, and lack of instruction, unless your sub is a retired teacher, which is rare.

The Governor wants to extend the school year? Why? So we can give more tests?

I could go on and on about the implementation of APPR and why introducing new standards and evaluations simultaneously is too much for a teacher with kids who need instruction is ridiculous, but I’ll stop.

Our school has become all about test prep and it makes me sad. We have incredible teachers and they are being instructed to teach to the test. In the past week I’ve had at least a dozen e-mails about test prep and it makes me want to puke.

I don’t want to play this game and I won’t.

Kids need to be nurtured and taught based on their own strengths and weaknesses.

Testing them constantly does not reflect their potential, especially when they’re 10 years old. We’re killing creativity with kids and their teachers.

The system is broken, Albany is on Pearson’s payroll, and our kids suffer. And sadly, like lemmings going off the cliff, the majority of school administrators drink the Kool-Aid and follow.

It’s sad kids, it’s sad.


  1. And the even sadder thing is that for all its sins against education, New York State is one of the better of a truly sad lot across our nation – out here in Oregon (where there is no sales tax, and local property taxes and fees are incredibly low!), the most important job of a school board member is ‘saving taxpayer money’, not the education of kids. And if the cost of education buts up against the standards of education, then it’s the standards that get adjusted – no one ever talks about finding new revenues to replace those that have disappeared. Increased standardized testing is a tool in the game of cutting revenues – and an increasing trend is cutting the school week by one day, along with teacher salaries! (Want a job out here Tup? If you’re an out-of-stater, there are plenty of jobs, but the only glitch is that no matter how many years experience you have, you have to start at Year One on the salary scale.) I don’t know how they get away with all this shit, but they do. I guess it’s a good indicator of just how important education has become in our great nation.

    The pendulum swings back and forth, amigo – if you can just stick around for another 20 or 30 years, I’m sure our great nation will begin to come back to its senses!

    • Spot on Doc. Politicians are ruled by the lobbies, and Pearson Corp. is ruling the education universe currently. I’d ratyher have the mafia to be honest. A 4 day work week sounds appealing! Sticking around another 20 or 30 years? Not a snowballs chance in hell!

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