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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Napping In High School?

     I do not know if this is funny or sad.  However, I do know there are over 87 million different images of it going on in schools!  You decide. Here in North Carolina we are in the midst of our end of year state mandated End of Course examinations.  We began Thursday, and conduct one a day for four hour sessions.  We will be finished Tuesday next.  Oh by the way, we throw in an entire extra day of would be instruction for make ups for these as well...  These have been going on for nearly 20 years if my recollection serves me correctly?  Nevertheless, as part of the testing sessions, once students are finished the testing administration directives allow for the students to in effect "do nothing" until the entire testing time/session is over...

     So, this leads to me watching my students getting off the bus with pillows and blankets and some literally wearing their pajamas.  Is it me or is there something just utterly wrong with this?  By no means do I place any blame on the children whatsoever.  If I knew I were going to complete a state mandated test in an hour or two and then was handcuffed and gagged not to do anything the remainder of the class period and testing session, then why not just SLEEEEEEEEEEEP?  On top of this, often times the room temperature is either too warm at the end of 1st semester or too frigid at the end of the school year!

     It never ceases to amaze me how the gurus in our state department of public education can be so clueless and inconsiderate at the valuable waste of time in testing and analyzing student's achievement on state mandated examinations.  Literally, beyond sound common sense we as educators are strapped to feed content and curriculum and then robbed of hours and days just to accommodate for these tests.  In essence really do not provide for one argument or  one conclusive statement about the quality and culture of what are many great and caring and compassionate schools and learning environments that exist throughout the state.  All of this which can be contributed to the inherent ability and nurturing of not only competent and quality educators, but people first who have dedicated their entire careers to often times being the sole mentor of thousands of untold students.

Would leave to hear from others in the tarheel state as well as around the country and what your practices are...