"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told." -Mark Twain


High Stakes Testing.....

It is spring.   The end of the school year is fast approaching. (My school has less than a month left). Besides the last few weeks of classwork, there are ballgames, trackmeets, concerts, programs, pre-enrollment, open-house, shows, events and TESTING! As in state assessments testing. 

Testing as in everything-is-on-the-line-testing.

The testing stakes in schools these days are stressful. The teachers feel it. The students feel it.

The Departments of Education (both federal and state) tell us NOT to teach to the test.  BUT in the next breath
we are given the consequences for what happens
if our students fail.

In Oklahoma they have made it mandatory for graduating seniors to pass four out of seven of their end-of-the-year-high-school-state-exams. 
Of those four, two of them HAVE to be
Albebra I
English II.

Lucky me.....I teach English II (which is Sophomores).  I also teach English III (which of course would be Juniors).
The Juniors also have to take the end-of-the-year-state-assessments.
So that means that ALL of my students take the
high stakes tests.

In Oklahoma the tests are called EOI's.
As in
End Of Instruction.
I tell my students it is the
End Of Ignorance.
The students tell me it is the
Education Of Idiots.

Regardless of the 'fun' we have with the acronym,
we have to take the tests seriously.
Too much depends on passing those tests.
The Sophomores do not get to graduate from
high school
until they pass  the
English II test.
Can you feel the stress
of the students?
Of this teacher?
This is the testing week for English.
When the test dates are being set
I make sure that my students
get to go first.

You see, the students have high-stake-testing
history, math, and science
in addition to
That's why I want my English classes
to be the first tests they take.
I want their minds fresh....
And not burnt out by too much testing.
So far we have our Writing Tests
Tomorrow we begin the comprehensive
tests for all things
There are over 120 definitions for various
elements of English
the students must know.
This time next week my testing will be over.

The students will have lots more tests before
the end of the year.
But my part in this giant
you-will-be-tested-over-everything-the-higher ups-in-government-think-you-must-know
will be done-----
for another year.
Oh the stress of this week.
My job--
my reputation--
my name--
my performance measurement--
rests on the
of 16 and 17 year olds.
We will be through with
English testing on
April 27.
Until then,
this is a very stressful week!

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