Monday, July 16, 2012

OK Hot Shot...

 Choose one:

You have to remediate students who have just failed the Standards of Learning Test(SOL) in a non-writing subject area.  You have their raw score but do not know what questions they missed specifically and are having a hard time deciphering where they were "weak"other than what you heard from their regular teacher.  Most of these students want to do well but they struggle with the basics.  You do not know most of their names and have never worked with them. The state will not let you look at or use past tests nor past questions except the outdated ones they released and none of those question will be used.  The students are not strong readers and are not from the same class.  There are 29 of them and it is the last week of school before exams.  You have 90 minutes and then they will retake the test. 


You are on a bus and it cannot go below 55 miles per hour.  

Any questions?

One of these scenarios played at our school and in a similar fashion across our state. I faced it back in May and as I think back I am still bothered by the disservice to our students by the current testing system.   With the aid of many other teachers I think I was able to help in some small way but I am left feeling that the bus deal may be more difficult but easier to control.  NCLB waiver or no waiver the time, energy, resources, money and focus all poured to testing make schools a worse place, not better.

Someone please explain to me again how  standardized testing and the millions we steer away from students in public schools and towards Pearson and the like is a good thing?  This system makes about as much sense as Dennis Hopper did in Speed.   I mean who does that?
If I release this switch, the testing company will explode.


  1. The only thing that made SOL remediation painless for me this year is that I only had to work with four students. But I have done this too many times to count and I can't imagine it's any help at all.

    Although I do have to ask ... is Sandra Bullock on the bus?

  2. Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can...that kind sums up remediation for me. Doing something always helps. for SB that made me laugh, she can be on the bus...I just don't want her driving after the Jesse James deal. Bad judgement. I'd go with the guy who played Cameron Frye from Ferris Beuller.

  3. This is generally my experience as well. It wasn't helped this year by the fact that we got the scores back weeks after they took the tests so didn't even have much time to remediate anyone. (It takes weeks to grade a multiple choice test taken on a computer why?) It also doesn't help that I still have NO IDEA how you reteach an entire years worth of history in a couple of weeks, or even a major section of it. It takes me all the time I do have to do it the first time around, and I could use more.