I Now Officially Teach The Test

That's right. In staff meeting today we were treated to a discussion about how we are going to prepare our 2nd graders for the upcoming CST (the California version of the high=stakes test) test. We discussed the fact that the test items are beyond many's grasp, some of the test items are not even part of our standards in 2nd grade (recognizing paragraphs), and the test actually tests the teachers, not the students. And since this is the way it is, the principal indicated, in so many words, we'd better get on board and figure out how to make the test meaningful, not an exercise in panic, and just shut up about how useless and damaging it is. Ok!

The principal was concerned that the kids may be emotionally unable to cope with all the bubbles, and the stuff they have never seen. We said, Why yes! How true! Then the principal asked how we could ameliorate that sense of fear. I said that I tell my kids that the test is actually to test how well the teacher is teaching, so don't worry about it. The principal both liked it, and made a disgusted face. I think her duplicity is causing great cognitive dissonance for her (though it may simply be confusion, as ascribing cognition to her seems silly. She doesn't think, she reacts.)

What makes me mad, angry, enraged, is the fact that we teachers know the test is not a measure of student achievement, especially this young, yet we still (well, not me!) all seem to stay close-lipped about our outrage.

Unless and until teachers take a stand, the reformers and their systematic takeover of public education will continue, unchallenged.

Stand up! Rail against the unfairness, shallowness, narrowness and danger of "The Test"!

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