Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Testing, Testing, Testing...

Today is PSAT Day in the New York City public school system.

All New York City public school sophomores and juniors are slated to take the PSAT today.

Freshman and seniors are expected to have "a full day of instruction" while their fellow students sit through about 4 of testing.

Last year in my school, that meant freshman and seniors were given Regents instruction while the juniors and sophomores took their PSAT tests.

Then we held 8th and 9th period classes after the the PSAT finished.

PSAT Day was not a fun day for anybody last year.

This year, the school decided to send freshman off on trips with their trade teachers while the seniors receive four hours of U.S. history tutoring in the auditorium. Juniors and sophomores will be taking their PSAT tests. The school is also holding an official period for all students.

The scheduling has been done this way because Uncle Joel Klein insists that PSAT Day must be "a full day of instruction" for all students regardless of whether they are taking the PSAT or not.

Uncle Joel also insists that the first day of Regents tests, when there is no morning test for students, also be a "full day of instruction."

This means that we often hold morning classes for students before the 3 hour afternoon Regents exam.

The poor kids taking their Regents exam later in the afternoon often look shell-shocked after the day is through.

Let's be honest, there's nothing like sitting through 3 hours of classes before taking a 3 hour Regents exam.

Uncle Joel likes to brag how the New York City public school system has the most days of instruction of any public school system in the nation.

Uncle Joel also likes to give as many standardized tests as possible.

In fact, he just added 4 additional standardized tests in math and 4 additional standardized tests in English each year.

It seems all we do lately is prep the kids for their standardized tests and then try and manipulate the schedule so we can have a "full day of instruction" on those test days.

Frankly, it has gotten so bad that I haven't spent any time prepping my juniors for today's PSAT test because I have been spending so much time prepping them for January's Regents exam.

And I suspect at bottom that this is all about Uncle Joel and Mayor Moneybags being able to brag to the nation about how many days of instruction and standardized tests they give in New York City.

See you after the test.
blog comments powered by Disqus