At the end of Teacher Appreciation week, I have three words for you:
Y’all all suck. Schools? Your suckage is beyond the pale. School Systems? You are the suck, suck, suckiest of all the sucks in the sucky education system in Georgia. The GADOE and GOSA have done an exemplary job here with the state mandated testing, and the only reason that it didn’t go down well was YOUR FAULT! WE BLAME YOU!
Disregard the fact that McGraw Hill is hiring folks without any educational background to grade the tests that are so masterfully put together. If your kids don’t make the cut because a marketing major is assessing your students’ tests, WE BLAME YOU!
Overlook the pesky detail of some elementary schools starting at 7:30 am. Should you have an technical emergency, you will have to wait until the IT department in Central Time Zone gets to work at 9:00 am Georgia time. If there’s a problem with the kids not testing in the mandated window of time, WE BLAME YOU!
Discount the entire day that McGraw Hill shut down its platform for “maintenance” and that it was shut down two days before high school testing began. If you can’t come to work on a Sunday and make sure your plan to
overcome our incompetence ensure the best testing experience ever, WE BLAME YOU!
Never mind that the entire testing platform is
stupid challenging; you should be able to figure out, cut, and sort thousands of 2”x3” pieces of paper for online testing, not lose them, and make sure that kids don’t mistake this “secure item” for a place to spit out their gum. The state wanted to save ink and paper! Printing four tickets to a page and leaving a half page blank is not your concern. The state and the millions of dollars spent on the fools/cronies trusted government officials creating the tests know what is best; however, if you lose one of those pieces of paper, or if a child does mistake that tiny piece of paper for his or her gum, you had better go through the trash and find it; otherwise, WE BLAME YOU!
Forget the fact that the Algebra and Geometry tests are 170 minutes long (not including instructions, passing out and taking back materials), and a student with accommodations can take up to 5.6 hours for these tests and that the school day is seven hours long. WE BLAME YOU!
Fail to note when the computer systems went down; you should have had an even better plan, an even better solution to overcome the state mandates handed down to you. Even though the testing platform went down for an hour or so here and there, teachers and schools are expected to test within the window that the state provides, and if the child with the 5.6 hour test is unable to do so because the platform goes down, WE BLAME YOU!
When Johnny is sitting at a test for those 5+ hours and doesn’t get to even go to lunch, but must have it delivered to him because his leaving the test site is against policy? Well, you better make sure he eats, but quickly, because he has to take the test in the days provided by the state. It doesn’t matter that Johnny has another test the next day that could take the same amount of time. And if Johnny doesn’t do well after testing for those 5+ hours, you have done a poor job of overcoming the achievement gap. WE BLAME YOU!
Schools: Your planning around all that could and did go wrong with testing was too little, too late, and could never make up for all of the testing company’s idiocy strategy and the state’s
mishaps flawless implementation of said idiocy strategy. WE BLAME YOU, TOO!
Governor Deal, The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA), and the GADOE.
Parents: We blame you for nothing…ever. We think that your ability to
play ostrich with understand high stakes testing is great! We like it that you are calling the schools and blaming them for our their incompetence.
Legislators, we blame you for nothing, either. Really, voting on having three hour tests for third graders under the misplaced assumption that longer=more difficult? It’s fabulous. Really it is! It’s the teachers’ faults that the kids are struggling with the tests. It has nothing to do with the short testing window, the long tests, or the incompetent brilliant testing company.
Richard Woods, we blame you for nothing, either; you’re off in the great blue skies of Georgia doing…something.