Monday, January 22, 2007

Sinking to New Depths

Oakland Unified and No Child Left Behind are ruining my students' education. That may sound dramatic, but it's true. And I'm pretty close to just walking away.

We got another math assessment from the district that covers what we haven't taught. The first one covered types of word problems that were supposed to be taught a few weeks after the test was due. This one covers geometry, which is a unit we are just starting (and we're taking the test this week), including questions on the types of triangles, which are not supposed to be taught until the SECOND WEEK OF FEBRUARY. The test is due on Jan 29. We're back to time traveling, I see. Let me point out that the same department made the schedule of lessons taught and the test. Big problems.

This is not the only problem. The testing schedule has gotten unbearable. Let me explain. There are four types of tests that we are mandated to give, not including any teacher-generated assessments that might actually help us assess the students.

  • *Weekly tests - in math, language arts, and spelling, take anywhere from 10-90 minutes
  • *Unit tests - sent by the district every 6-8 weeks for language arts, we're kind of supposed to do math ones too, but I don't, take about 3-5 hours to finish
  • *District assessments - 3 times a year for math, take about 3-5 hours to finish; now we have language arts ones 3 times a year also
  • *State testing - 2-3 hours a day for almost two weeks

Now look at the schedule. I'm not including the every Friday tests, so add those in your mind

  • October 17-20 testing window for Language Arts, Unit 1
  • November 27-30 testing window for Math (and next year for the new language arts test)
  • December 12-15 testing window for Lanugage Arts, Unit 2
  • January 22-26 testing window for Math
  • January 22-26 testing window for Language Arts (the new one)
  • February 12-15 testing window for Language Arts, Unit 3
  • February 27-28 testing window for an "extra" district math test
  • April 4-6 testing window for Language Arts, Unit 4
  • April 22-May 11 testing window for state tests
  • May 21-30 testing window for District Math test
  • May 21-30 testing window for Language Arts district test (the new one)
  • June 6-12 testing window for Language Arts, Unit 5

Now add in the 3 tests we're supposed to give them weekly, and answer me:

WHEN AM I SUPPOSED TO TEACH THEM ANYTHING???

I think I may have to get out of this profession.

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