Writing my way through the school year!

Archive for the ‘Standardized Testing’ Category

Why I Can’t “Teach to the Test”

I know it would make life much easier if I did.

Pull out the worksheets of all flavors;Reading, Writing, Math, mix in a Performance task.

Place them on their desks, one subject after another, hoping that when the BIG test comes, they can pass it, because they have been drilled, and drilled, and drilled.

Put them in labeled groups, those who will fly through the test, those who might pass, and those who don’t stand a chance.

“Teach” them based on where they fit in the “testing” spectrum.

No arts.

No Recess.

No engagement.

No fun.

Just test drills.

But, I can’t….READ MORE


Popular Posts of 2013!

Honestly, I have reached that age where I can’t even remember what happened in 2013. Life has become a blur. The years are whizzing by! 

One of the highlights of 2013  was having the governor of Delaware visit our class to start American Education Week. We had a Mystery Skype and he LOVED it! We need to show our politicians what we can do besides test!! READ MORE…

I Suffer from FOEA- Fear of Education Acronyms!

I didn’t always fear acronyms. Acronyms like PEMDAS, RARE, SWAP, are good acronyms. Their sole job? To help my students remember, like all good acronyms do.

But alas, acronyms have become something for teachers to fear. Whenever, there is a new acronym introduced into education, it strikes fear in our hearts. You know what I’m talking about. It seems that about every 6 months, a new one is introduced. One that I’m really afraid of in DE is,  DCAS (Delaware …) Ok, I can’t lie, I don’t even know what it stands for! I just know it means test the hell out of our kids.


I Am Not a “Highly Effective” Teacher!: Student Test Scores Have Spoken!


I found out today that I am an only an “effective” teacher as opposed to “highly effective.”

I received my summative evaluation in June and I received a Satisfactory. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think “I’m all that and a bag of chips”, but I felt I deserved more than a Satisfactory. So, I challenged it.READ MORE

No Money for Schools..But Money for Pearson?

The content of this article, “Schools Add to Test Load, Just to Test Questions”,. How our students are being used as guinea pigs to field test future tests.

But then, this jumped out at me, ” The (NY)state currently has a five-year, $32 million contract with Pearson, a testing company.” READ MORE..

Why Can’t We Keep the Music Teacher?: Losing Arts in Schools.


I sat, mesmerized, as the music teacher coaxed the most beautiful songs out of 30-40 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  This was not the first time. I have been to many of her concerts, and I am always amazed. READ MORE

Teachers, Targets, and Test Scores!

My stomach is in knots and I want to scream.
I want to hit something.
I look at my students’ test scores, the growth they have made,and I am proud of them.
I refused to teach to the test, and they still kicked DCAS !

I looked down the AYP column on the all-glorious data chart, and saw that some of my students grew by over 100 points. Only two of my students did not show “growth”.READ MORE…


“The Cheating Scandal!” Isn’t Cheating a Choice?

The original post was written in July 2011. Here we are in 2013, faced  with anothercheating scandal, and people are going to jail. Is there another way?

I read an article by Jay Matthews of  The Washington Post the other day, “Easing Test Pressure Won’t Save Kids”, and it went along with something I had been thinking about ever since “The Cheating Scandals” broke. I don’t agree with everything he had to say in his article, but there was one element that struck me. Is cheating acceptable because of the enormous pressure put on teachers, principals, and superintendents?  Is it alright to excuse, justify, or rationalize cheating, because of the intense pressure put on schools due to standardized testing? READ MORE…

They Say That School is a Bad Mother…I’m Talkin About Garfield High!



I admire the teachers of Garfield High so much! What they have done, are still doing is amazing! Not only amazing, but very brave. In the scheme of things, everyone might not see what they are doing as heroic.READ MORE…

Top 3 Posts of February 2013!

“I Apologize” An Open Letter to My Students!
I am sorry…

If You’re Happy and You Know It…! Happy Students = Happy Teachers!..

Fairy Tale Jeopardy! JeopardyLabs:This is Not Powerpoint!READ MORE

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