Sunday, February 18, 2007


It is that time here. Standardized tests.

I teach second year ESL kids. Some of them are in an American school for the first time. They are required to take the same reading test as kids who have been in the US all their lives. This isn't really even amazing to anyone anymore. The chance that they will pass the state score at this level is 0.

So it is little to no surprise that (shhhh!) most kids just click through the test and say "I'm done!"in 15 minutes. They have learned the secret. Never mind that they read at a first grade level (at best), and the test is for 10th graders, and many 10th graders cannot pass. Never mind the nearly 50 questions with intense reading. Never mind that they don't usually know the word for "scroll bar" before the test but our monitors are so small that they have to scroll all over the place in 2 different windows to take this test. Just never mind.

I only heard this anecdotally, but another teacher, understandably shrill and about to go crazy, complained about putting having to administer a 70 question computer test to kindergartners, with headphones. Can anyone even imagine this?

It is just confirmation to me that those who make education policy (read: NCLB) just have no idea what kids are like, what schools are like or what will really work.

And by way of qualification, I am all about high standards, and I can even get behind some standardized testing. But agreed with a coworker this year, who when we saw the testing schedule said "Phew! With all this I won't have to write more than 3 lesson plans this year!"

It is true, our ESL kids have to take 3 and a half standardized tests just for their english proficiency annually to comply with state and federal standards. They are not short tests.

In other news, Addy said for the first time tonight "I love you!" over and over and clapped each time. It was awesome. I know she will be pulling it out of her pocket now when she gets in trouble. I can see it now:

"No Addy, you cannot hula dance on broken glass on top of the chair with bare feet while you reach across to pick up a knife on the kitchen counter. Naughty."

Addy continues reaching only now she is looking at me saying "I love you mommy!" thinking that if she is cute enough she may be able to avoid the inevitable impending repercussions of her decisions to do the opposite of what I ask.

Jeff got the tile in the laundry room down, and we will sleep for a second night with no door on the laundry room because we will just have to take it off again tommorrow for the washing machine delivery (I begged him to put it on, every bump in the night makes me wake up with a door off, I wonder why). I was rebuffed firmly. I have heard that robbers don't come when there are people in the house, but if they do come, I just might say "I told ya so", though I have sworn I would never say it. Still J wins the official stud award, he was not excited neither about tiling nor about the washing machine, but it is all over now, and he even painted the laundry room. It was a room we were both pretending it didn't exist. But now it looks decent, new trim, new paint and new tile. No fancy tile though, just cheapest of cheap since this was his first go at tile, though now he is kind of getting into it, looking at fancy tile jobs and making plans.

1 comment:

Mrs. T said...

We want pictures when it's finally done!

The standardized testing of the ESL kids is pretty much par for the course. It's nuts. NCLB has got to go.