Tons of stress and multiple hour-long delays and tech-hiccups later... my 4th grade class has finished our first round of PARCC testing! There is so much wrong with the content, presentation, implimentation, expectations, and execution of the PARCC, that I could dedicate a post a day about it's trappings/failings, and still be writing about it when I retire.
That said, I wrote this to express some of my thoughts/frustrations. The text is below.
It's no mystery
You can learn more on a park bench or a bench press
Than you can doing test prep for the PARCC test
You can go outside and watch leaves changing and falling,
And learn about seasons, the reasons they change,
And why being the same isn’t something to shoot for
And why planting your feet in the ground to soak up experience is something to root for
And why pumping blood through repetitive motion with the right level of resistance
Will do more to build you up, than consecutive doses of what someone you don’t know supposes
That you ought to know, but that probably won’t make a difference
'Cause you will able to make a decision to make a commitment to college, a job,
Or the place that you're livin'
And none of it's thanks to the way you were tested in school,
But the way you were taught
And the way you were able to say that it isn’t... about testing
And it isn’t about doubting the worth of assessing
It's about seeing that tests designed with dollar signs in mind, are detrimental
And that tests designed with those in mind WITH dollar signs, are evidence to the fact
That fair is a relative term,
And that slanted scores in schools where economics are lopsided are not coincidental
And we saw better days before we ever raised the idea of educational monopolies
There are so many better assessment philosophies
So many better ways to teach kids to use technology
This is useless
Taking time away from worthwhile instruction, for efforts that are ultimately fruitless
I mean, what do you expect when you’re giving kids a test
And adults can barely do it?
Why are we bombarding teachers and kids with this?
Just because it’s what appears “in”?
Just because they roped your peers in?
Just because of the votes of approval politicians and their peers send?
Just because big brother's got a stranglehold on your school
And whenever you try to help your students break that glass ceiling, he peers in?
Just because we’ve got that much money and time to spend on the prep materials from Pearson?
If your professional development doesn't develop your ability to do better at your profession
Then it's unprofessional, which hinders development and professionalism
Which is contradictory
So just know that the reason kids and teachers are tired of what's going on in schools...
Is no mystery
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!