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This is a Test (Updated)

May 17, 2011

This test will determine your personal worth, that of your school, and that of your community.  But, not to worry, summer break is on its way, so that means the end of standardized-test-season!  To celebrate the auspicious occasion, please enjoy another test.  We can not promise any valuable learning, other than bubble-dot skills, which you may or may not need for any future jobs.  But do it anyway, because your local, state, and federal governments mandate this ritual, no matter what you, or we, have to say about it.

Fill in the blank to select the most appropriate answer in the following question.

1.  If you are stranded in the wilderness, you will most likely require  ______________:

a.  A lawyer, to sue the jerk responsible, or at least deflect any responsibility or liability  from yourself.

b.  Both hands and a flashlight to find your way out.

c.  A compass and other gear.

d. Do we care if you’ve never left the city and have no idea?  Hush up, now, and take this test.

2.  You work for a large school district where the merit of schools is being judged on the basis of test scores.  You have noticed a correlation between low test scores and lower-income neighborhoods.  Which action do you take:

a.  Conduct more tests, thereby collecting more summative data and fodder for bar graphs.

b. Close schools and replace them with charter schools, or other shiny new options which may or may not make a difference in raising the achievement gap but might make it look like you’re doing something.

c. Fire experienced teachers and replace them with eager young Teach for America candidates and other inexperienced, inexpensive personnel.

d. Give yourself a raise.

3.  Your state is faced with a drastic budget reduction that is certain to affect K-12 funding.  As a district superintendent, which of the following are you least likely to cut?

a. Your multimillion expenditures on the purchasing, administration, and scoring of standardized tests.

b. Teacher salaries and benefits.

c. Arts and enrichment programs to keep students engaged and learning and address needs of high-risk students in after-school programs.

d.Some of those positions of people who don’t actually work directly with kids but wander around telling those who do, what to do and how and when to do it.

4. Which of the following sources are you most likely to consult regarding issues of school reform?

a.  The Broad Foundation, which actively recruits executives from the private sector and molds them in a twisted plot to control grooms them for superintendence of urban school districts nationwide.

b.  Bill Gates, a computer expert with lots of money.

c. Oprah Winfrey, media maven.

d. Educational experts, like, say, teachers,  who are trained and  experienced in the field of public education.

5. Select the best synonym for the word “nonsense”:

a. Codswallop

b. Bilge

c. Horse-feathers

d. Anything teachers or their unions might have to say regarding issues of school reform

6.  Are you a better-educated student as a result of this test?  Is participation in this test helping you to better prepare for the future as a skilled member of a competitive work force?

a.  Yes.  Please serve me some more Kool-Aid.

b. I am not sure.  Explain why I must spend so many hours annually being tested without passing a state bar or anything.

c. ZZZZ…I’m sorry, I dozed off…You were saying?

d. No.  This test makes my stomach hurt.

Gee, wasn’t that fun?  Certain companies sure thought so!  Vacation in the Caribbean, coming up for special somebodies!    The rest of you, watch those erase marks and wait anxiously for test results, VAMs and schools closures, y’hear?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 17, 2011 7:36 am

    Thank you Sabrina, for your wit and style.

  2. mariasallee permalink*
    May 17, 2011 7:48 am

    Hi Jesse,

    I’m flattered to be mistaken for Sabrina, thanks for the comment on my piece!

    Maria Sallee

  3. May 17, 2011 11:01 am

    This was awesome! I’ll be sure to keep a look out for this blog in the future.

  4. mariasallee permalink*
    May 23, 2011 7:55 pm

    Thanks, Jason, I’m glad you checked out our blog! I’m posting about once a week until the school year (and end-of-year madness) is over. Then, I hope to further regain my sense of humor about the state of things…

  5. May 27, 2011 6:15 pm

    After a horrible day of standardized testing, I came home and wrote this post.
    Today, my principal showed us our data, we breathed a sigh of relief when we “beat” the district and state scores, otherwise we would have been “under review”. How ridiculous, we have a wonderful, hard-working staff, and we have to worry about this nonsense!

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