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Showing posts from May, 2011

The Cruelest Month

I know T.S. Eliot favored April as the most cruel, but we teachers know that May is… even more so these days.Most importantly, it is the final testing month. National ‘assessments, state ‘assessments’, district ‘assessments’, school ‘assessments’… on and on. It’s impossible to actually get anything done. Toss in graduation activities, planning for the upcoming year and the 2011 bonus, lay-offs and transfers, and you have to wonder if it wouldn’t be better to save money by simply shutting down school entirely except for a few test proctors. Meanwhile, there seems an air of hopelessness permeating the education world. Plans to lay-off thousands are coming to fruition. Schools are being closed, despite protests. Charters are increasing where they can whether they should not. Unions have lost a lot ground and teachers are trying to decide if it’s even worth it any more to continue talking about education. (not that I blame anyone for that, we all have lives to live)For myself, I know that…

“They Don’t Get It”

I hear that a lot these days. It used to be mostly from various teens trying to negotiate the drama unfolding in their lives as they wandered into that no-man’s land between adult and child. These days it’s from adults trying to navigate the education scene these days.So many people talking and no one listening. The other day I was reading a post by a blogger I’ve been following for several years. Before there was such a thing as “blogging.” We all know spring is IEP review season. This blogger wrote about his daughter’s. Among the various elements, there was the discussion about the state assessment tests. She did not pass. There was discussion about what this means… and why said student needed to pass this test. Would she be taking a modified test?While reading, all I could think about was what would happen to that child as she entered middle school and high school. A history of not passing the assessment test vs. teachers who will now be evaluated on how many students pass that tes…