Monday, April 27, 2009

CRT Faux-pas

We're in the middle of the CRT tests, those fun end of the year tests.  They switched companies this year, so the program is a lot different than before, but we're dealing with it fine.  Once you get the students all logged in to the system, you open up a testing session and give them a 5 letter code to access the test.  Today this code came up:
Not exactly the code I'd write up on the board in a secondary school.  Fortunately our testing coordinator was smart enough to shut that session down and open up a new one.  I think that one was KQXQK, a fairly innocous one....

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A Paperback Writer said...

Oh, thank you for the humor! I'm passing this one on to our guru; he needs a laugh at this point.

Your Conscience said...

Your Cobnscience is interested in your input. While reading the Trib yesterday it saw an article discussing the prospect of closing down Granite High as a result of the "small schools" policy. Just a few questions:

1) Was this policy the descision of the state or the district? Is the group responsible for starting the policy the same group wanting to shut down school and end the policy or are you aware of political bickering in which "small schools" is a rope in a tug-of-war of egos?

2) Do you think this "small schools" policy (whatever that really is) is the best way to reduce class sizes and improve education?

3) Do you believe the problem with our educational system truly a lack of money, misplaced spending priorities, a matter of the legislature not siving a shit, or simply not "getting it".

4) Also, during your stint as a teacher would you say students are getting sharper, dumber, or staying pretty much constant? Please, if you can, adjust yuour answer to somehow remove any bias reulsting from teaching in wealthier districts versus poorer districts -- at least to the extant this is possible.

5) Are students way fuckin' happy that Creed have reformed and plan to both tour and record? Do they think the rightful reformation of everyone's fave Jesus rockers will make Christ smile again on our once great nation reulting in higer test scores and better parking spaces?

6) Have you ever considered wearing a coon skin cap to work?

These are more questions than you probably have time to answer, so however you wish to tie them together with the briefest possible answer(s) would lessen eyestrain. But remember how much kids love the Creed...

Max said...

1a) This is completely a district decision, the state plays no role in it.
1b) In my opinion, this is definitely political bickering and a school board tug-of-war of egos. It has nothing to do with small schools, but more to do with east side v. west side power struggle. They've been trying to close down Granite High for over 10 years now, it was the compromise from the last attempt that made it a small school.
2) Small schools are not better for everybody. Some students prefer and do better in bigger schools, they do offer a bigger variety of classes and activities. Lower income and marginalized students tend to do better in a small school, where they do get individual attention and feel that they are a part of the school.
3) Lack of money is one problem. More money would mean smaller class sizes overall, better equipment and better trained teachers. Other issues include; a teacher's union that promotes job security over job performance, a society that is becoming increasingly uninvolved in their children's lives and definitely a matter of misplaced spending priorities and a legislature that simply doesn't get it.
4) I don't think students are getting either smarter or dumber. I think they are getting less motivated, which goes back to society being less involved in their children's lives, which, in my opinion, explains the differences between wealthier and poorer districts. Rick kids are not smarter, their parents can just afford Sylvan or some other tutoring group.
5) Uh, I doubt they've even thought about it.
6) Only on Friday the 13th when there's a full moon.

Your Conscience said...

Fair enough. I was always wondering if the complaints against the U.E.A. was just the inherent ant-labor mentality of the state of if there was some merit to them. You answer suggests the later.

How do you think this can be changed, given how entrenched union leadership might be (I suspect it is but don't know)and give the contracts they have gotten for already tenured teachers?

Max said...

YC - to be honest, I don't know. I know that I have foresaken the union because of it's "status-quo" attitude.

naptime nostalgia said...

Love this. Thanks for the laugh.

Your Conscience said...

"...I have foresaken the union because of it's "status-quo" attitude."

By "forsaken" do you mean you don't pay duues and are not a UEA member?

Given Your Conscience's understanding of (at least you past) political views it find this really interesting and telling...

Are you sure that by "status quo" you don't mean "the bastards wouldn't let me do my Woody Woodpecker impression at the union tallent show. Fuckers!"?

Max said...

YC - by "forsaken" I mean I dumped the union almost 10 years ago. I belonged to a faculty that was highly polarized about the direction of our school - so polarized that at one point a student asked me which side of the faculty civil war I was on. The union completely ignored the side that wanted change and backed the side that wanted to be able to continue teaching like they did 30 years ago. I saw it again 3 years ago when the union fought change at another school I was involved with. I've seen good administrators try to turn bad teachers (well, the WERE good at playing solitaire) into good teachers and thanks to union protections have no choice other than to send them on to the next school.
I do have a grandmother that was arrested for assaulting a scab in the garment district in NYC back during the infancy of unions. They were necessary in their time, we wouldn't be where we are without them. But much like the steam locomotive engine, they have become obsolete and ineffective at improving the overall situation.