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Re: NOT teaching to the test

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JudyandharryS_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Fri Oct 15 2004 - 12:06:34 PDT


In my school, teachers of ALL SUBJECTS are expected to teach to the state
Tests in reading and math. Here is some background:

Our district is the third wealthiest county in the nation, and considered to
be very progressive. In the past few years, we have experienced, as have
other districts, a huge influx families new to the country, with limited
education, finances, or literacy, (native language or English) These families are
struggling just to survive. Some children have never been to school. We have
almost 1300 children in a building designed for 900, and they are overwhelmingly
poor.

My school has become a poverty pocket in a county the rich and
powerful--senators, congressmen, etc, call home. I think we have over 60 percent
free/reduced meals.
  We also have a large number of special education students. Because our
children, both immigrant and native born, have had low scores in the past, and
did not meet the standards in one area (reading, Special Ed), this year, we
are in phase one (School improvement) of a five year process which could
result in a state takeover.
  As a result, we classroom teachers are expected to administer a number of
practice tests, score them, and record the data! This is in addition to the
many absurd tasks I wrote about --"Is it June Yet?"
  I know that all the things we are doing, while they may result in higher
test scores, are
short sighted. The art and music programs have been scaled back so kids can
take double math and english classes. There is no time for assemblies and
enrichment activities. Our focus, I believe is on "artificial" education, and I
feel like I am selling my soul.
Judy S

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