Sunday, May 3, 2015

Getting My Rant On About Fairness and Equality

                                                       It should be fair. It must be equal.

Isn’t that the goal? To be fair and equal it must be our goal.

Blind students must copy notes off the board like all other students.
Deaf students must take notes from teacher’s lectures like all other students.
Wheelchair bound students must stand for the pledge like all other students.

These are not anymore absurd than asking our students with specific learning disabilities to meet the proficiencies that our gifted students and general ed students are meeting.

A student who is working with individual challenges to master work that is at his or her appropriate learning level but happens to be a few years below grade level is to be encouraged and celebrated. Instead, we teach them here and test them at their actual grade level.

This Spring we have tested students for a week on PARCC, two days on MAPS, another two days for End of Year PARCC (only a month after first round of PARCC), and yesterday we got the schedule for End of Course exams that will be given in two weeks.  Please remember that all 7th graders take the 7th grade tests no matter what learning level they are at or what they have been taught in class.

The student’s Individual Education Plan or IEP is developed by a group of parents, teachers, diagnosticians, psychologists and other experts who carefully consider the best program for each student. We then build the best program for that student with the supports in place to optimize education.

Then we subject these students to this relentless battery of tests at a grade level that is often skills that they have not been introduced to and are certainly not ready to learn. But it is FAIR and JUST that all students should and WILL be proficient in all skills determined by the state.

One dedicated, seventh grader in my class has sat at his computer day after day in this assessment filled Spring determined to do his best. Unfortunately, he simply cannot succeed. That does not mean he is not a success. He has grown significantly and is more dedicated to learning than any other student I have ever seen.

Not only are we torturing our students with these countless tests, we are also depriving them of valuable learning time that they desperately need to keep moving forward. It saddens me and sickens me that I do my job by failing my students when it comes to these mandated, waste of their precious time assessments.

In Him,


1 comment:

  1. That is a sad situation you describe. Is the federal government forcing the states to do all this testing?