Crunch time. All 200 schools in my district are furiously preparing, once again, for state EOCs. Reviewing, relooping, and reteaching all the stuff kids used to know or never learned at all for the dreaded state assessments in a week. Everybody’s nervous: district folks, principals, teachers, and, to a disturbingly lesser degree, students. In an era of severe budget cuts and district-wide RIFing (reduction in force), everybody’s ass is on the line. Everybody except maybe the students themselves. Most will be promoted to the next grade or course regardless of how they perform on state EOCs, provided they pass the courses based on the traditional teacher-assigned grades.
Something is terribly wrong with this picture. Students should be the largest stakeholders in all this, yet many could care less and some may not even show up on test day.
I can’t help but think: If there were no NCLB-induced state testing in a week, what might these classroom teachers be doing with their kids? Might students be actually learning new things related to their course content, instead of learning how to eliminate choices in multiple-choice test items?
I get that NCLB has increased state, local and teacher accountability in good ways. But this week, it seems like it has completely interfered with quality teaching and learning. dven.