This week marks the beginning of testing season at my school.
My students start with the California Standards Test (CST) and will spend the next four days bubbling their knowledge onto scantrons. I will proctor the exam and get a TON of work done on my desk, on my computer, and in my classroom.
Following this week of testing, students move into AP and IB testing for the next three weeks. That means that on any given day the mix of students attending my classes will vary and I will teach, re-teach, and hope that my lessons reach everyone…eventually. I am still trying to get through original material.
I teach great kids. The sophomores and juniors who are testing in my room are honors, AP and IB students. So it is quiet in my room as the students deftly move their pencils through the testing booklet. They spend the extra time studying and this allows me valuable time to plan, grade, and organize. Seniors are not tested until the next round.
This week marks the beginning of the end. After testing seasons is over we are close to Memorial Day weekend (framed by a furlough day) and only about two weeks out of graduation. The pace is changing. There are disruptions and frustrations. There are crazy schedules and big blocks of time. There is stress and relief as each day of testing season ticks away.
What is the value? School accountability and college credit. Things for the future… not for learning now. Not for quality NOW. NOT NOW!
And that is why I hate testing season. Learning and inquiry are put on hold (or stopped) and students work for some elusive goal (800 API; passing scores on APs; an IB Diploma). This is the end of the academic year.
Rest in peace, education.