Is anybody else tired of the district lying to us about testing?

The district over and over has said, look at us we have cut testing, we listened to teachers and parents and we’re doing what they asked.

Except they didn’t and the district is currently in it’s second week of what they are calling a scrimmage designed to mirror the FSA test kids will have to take later in the school year. Ten full days of testing, more for schools without the resources to get it done during that window. Ten days of classes being disrupted.

This year weeks of testing have replaced last years end of quarter tests. Some people I have spoken to think we are testing more than ever despite the superintendents and districts assertions otherwise.

I get the tests too, the state hasn’t given us much leeway, what I don’t get is the district telling the public one thing and doing the exact opposite and I for one am tired of it.

Now for my regularly scheduled rant. The district doesn’t get that if they make school miserable for students and teachers alike that we will never reach our potential, never. We also cannot alienate and push away parents, we have to be honest with them and we have to rally them behind our schools but why should they support them when they are told one thing while another happens.

Nobody likes bad news, but people hate being lied to worse. 

8 Replies to “Is anybody else tired of the district lying to us about testing?”

  1. You want to talk about liars: cast your eyes west along I-10 to the state officials who tell us the Spring 2015 FSA was valid for measuring teachers' VAM scores, they can make the conversion from FCAT to measure student learning gains, but they don't do that in their proposed school grades. They also required districts to do a September baseline (a 10% loss of instructional time for me) because they need that for this year's VAM calculation. Apparently they have no confidence in it for this year while they insist it is valid for last year.

  2. In our frustration, let us remember that these interim tests are only a symptom of the disease. The disease originates in a false system of school/teacher/administrator/district accountability based upon inappropriate learning standards for the grade levels that are tested in terrible ways, a rigid manner of measuring the flexibility of student creativity and critical thinking, a deliberate ignoring of 100 years of research into how children learn and develop, and a hijacking of public tax dollars for profiteers. Testing has always been a part of learning, but like a normal cell turned cancerous and growing into a life-threatening tumor, testing has become destructive under the push of educational reform and federal legislation.

  3. The most frustrating part of giving these test is that the content of the test has only been partially taught. It is extremely difficult to convince students a test is important and they should try their best when we know the test doesn't count, and we haven't even taught the material! It is heart breaking to watch my valuable teaching time be wasted as children are forced to click away on tasks they have no idea how to address. There is no rhyme or reason for testing material like this…..we have however been told this will give is an instructional focus for future lessons. Do they not realize that is what the CURRICULUM GUIDE IS FOR????? I already have an instructional focus, you have just now taken valuable time from me. Do you think this time was allocated for in the pacing guide????? Of course not! So better hurry up and catch up, because it doesn't matter that you had no control over the loss of 10 instructional days!!!!

    1. They never count the cost of what this type of testing does to student psychology. I had a rough day yesterday (Friday) when lessons resumed after two classes of testing. Students didn't care about learning anything. I believe part of their recalcitrance was due to the test leading them to conclude that it was hopeless to try–they don't understand the test questions. (Because, as you point out, so much hasn't been taught yet.)

  4. Since last Thursday, my elementary students have been taking daily tests, an hour and a half each day, with no break. This will last for a full week, ending this Thursday. Yet, on top of the excessive amount of testing in their week, the district still expects us to teach a lesson from the modules, for ela and math, on each of these testing days. Could this be any worse?

    Yes… Because we have also been told our yearly class holiday party, which the kids and their families look forward to, will have to be replaced with the ela and math lessons, too. The priority is the curriculum, not the children.

    My students are joyful, talkative, curious, excitable, and filled with laughter and love. I am being asked to stifle that. I am being told to put out the lights in their eyes, and force my kids, day after day, to endure this frustrating, monotonous, developmentally inappropriate curriculum. My heart breaks, because these children have been entrusted to me, to my school, to Duval county… We are failing them.

  5. They kicked two computer teachers out of their classrooms for 4 days this week and are warehousing them in the auditorium during testing- seems we only care about some kids education.

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