I love playing with data.
I believe that testing can be a good thing.
But, yet again, good in theory comes off as horrible in reality. I’m sitting with students as they take our in-house standardized test. They’re bored.
For the seniors it’s the 10th time they’ve taken it. It being this exact version of the test. Same questions. Same choices. Same order. Don’t write in the booklet, because we need to use it next time sameness.
If the data was useful, maybe it’d be worth it.
You already know it's not.
The math version has as many questions on it about Roman Numerals as questions about variables. We have one evaluate the expression, one single-step solve the equation, two plot the points, nothing about actually graphing lines. The Roman Numerals are ones I’d have to take my best guess on, though my mom could answer them.
But this is what the school board uses to judge the teachers. (Students saw their scores only once last year.) Hopefully we’ll have enough practice with fractions and decimals to “show improvement.” Because this year I’m saying, “You’re in Algebra/Geometry/Algebra II. We don’t have time to go over fractions for a month. You need to be able to use them. They’re in our problems. If you need help, ask!”*
I could teach to the test. It might impress school officials. Or I can keep looking at what we’re supposed to teach (even our vague standards are beyond what we’re testing) and pushing beyond.**
*I am working through some examples on the board. Trying to remind students of rules they never learned. And then enough walk me through it examples where we should do something.
**At least this time we're giving it during homecoming week. So instead of losing two weeks of instruction to whatever, we're only losing one?