Fits & Fugues

Education can be so much more.

State Standardized Test Questions

Boy: “Dad, why do I have to take the CSAP tests this week and next week?”

Dad: “Son, the CSAP tests are part of the Colorado Student Assessment Program and, look here, the law says so, ‘Every student enrolled in a public school shall be required to take the (state) assessments (in the content areas and grades administered). – Colorado Revised Statutes [22-7-409(1.2.a.1.d.I)].'”

Boy: “When will I know how I did?”

Dad: “Four or five months from now.”

Boy: “When I’m in the next grade? Will my new teacher tell me how I did?”

Dad: “Well, they send the Performance Report home and the results get stored in a data warehouse that your teacher has access to.”

Boy: “If I do well, how will that help me in school?”

Dad: “It won’t; it shows your teacher, school, and district did a good job. It helps them.”

Boy: “What if I don’t do well?”

Dad: “Well, they might put you in a different class to help you get better.”

Boy: “With other kids who didn’t do well? You know, some kids just write anything in their tests. Will any teachers want to teach that class? It sounds like a tough job.”

Dad: “I’m sure the teacher will do her best.”

Boy: “Our principal came on the announcement speaker and said we should get lots of rest and eat a good breakfast the day of the test. How come he only says that during testing time? Is it okay to stay up and skip breakfast the rest of the school year?”

Dad: “No, you…”

Boy: “And how come we don’t have any homework for the testing weeks? My teacher said it’s because they want us to concentrate on our work. How come we don’t do that all the time?”

Dad: “Well, see…”

Boy: “I kinda like testing time. We actually don’t do that much work in class for almost two whole weeks. And I can’t wait until I get to my junior year in high school. Those kids don’t have to come in until noon because the freshmen and sophomores are testing all morning. Except one day when only sophomores take the Science test. And some kids’ parents say they don’t have to take the test. Our principal says that those kids’ tests count against our school.”

Dad: “That last part is true, but it may be changing.”

Boy: “Do the teachers still get paid for not teaching those weeks?”

Dad: “Yes, it’s part of their jobs.”

Boy: “Wouldn’t they rather be teaching?”

Dad: “Without a doubt. But some people say this will help them teach better.”

Boy: “But our teacher says that our 5th grade class will be compared to next year’s 5th grade class. Is that right? I mean, we’re pretty smart but the fourth graders are a bunch of booger pickers.”

Dad: “Um, the State is working on that. They are trying to look at how you do and, hopefully, improve each year.”

Boy: “That makes sense. How come they haven’t been doing that all along?”

Dad: “What else have you been told about the CSAP tests?”

Boy: “Somebody named Nickelbee made the schools give us all these tests. We have one or two administrators who are in charge of the tests and some secretaries that help sort and bubble the outside of the tests with information about us and if we finished the tests. In fact, we had a visit from a nice lady from the district office who says her only job is to coordinate all the tests the kids in the district take. She’s nice, but I think she likes numbers a little too much.”

Dad: “Now be nice. You know if a teacher messes up and give the wrong test or a kid goes ahead, she gets blamed?” 

Boy: “When you add up all the teachers, support staff and secretaries, paraprofessionals, building adminstrators, district administrators and support staff, and all the people at the state level, and all the paid test graders, for all the 477,000+ kids in grades 3-10 in all the schools in all the districts in the entire state and multiply that by the three or four tests each kid must take over multiple days, that seems like lots of time and money.”

Boy: “Dad, is it worth it and where does all that money go?”


March 6, 2008 Posted by | Education | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Participate in the 2008 Education Blogosphere Survey


Dangerously Irrelevant posted a link today to the 2008 Education Blogosphere Survey. The deadline to participate is January 26, 11:00PM, (GMT -6:00) Central Time (US & Canada). I took the survey; it only takes a few minutes and will help to get the word out for the educational blogsphere.

January 22, 2008 Posted by | Education | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment