Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dear STAR test

For those of you that do not know what the STAR/CST test just know this it rules the life of every school, teacher, administrator, district, and level of education in our state. It is also referred to as the dreaded test. You know the one where you have to regurgitate in two hours every damn thing you have learned all year. The one where you as a teacher have been cramming as much multiple choice knowledge into their heads as possible and then falling to sleep praying to the STAR test gods it stay their until the beginning of May. The one where you as an administrator pray, hope, willing sell your soul for a score of over 800. Yup, that's the one. Well the STAR test is upon us so I decided to write the STAR test a little letter telling it what I really believe.

Dear STAR test,
I am impressed with how much power you wield around theses days. It seems that everywhere I go I hear something about how this all important event needs even more time and attention paid to it. There are catchy slogans made, hell kids even make up songs to sing to help themselves when they face you and all your multiple choice bubble in glory. I do not know how you so slyly and cunningly snuck in and made us all bow down before you. I am impressed that you have convinced entire schools, districts, hell possibly even the state that teaching to the test is not only acceptable but applauded. But STAR test you tell us nothing valuble. I am sure we could bet the odds of my students STAR test score in November and I'd be pretty spot on. The What you do tell me STAR test is the following
1. We will have future generations unable to think outside the box
2. We will have employees that cannot solve problems unless the answer is listed for them in multiple choice format.
3. We will have schools shut down because of their unsatisfactory performance but full of teachers that are amazing, vibrant, and exceptional.
4. We will have an ever increasing divide between the "good" and the "bad" schools.
5. We will continue to degrade the idea that learning is cool and information is fun because that cool fun information won't be asked on the test
6. We will continue to strip our schools of electives and replace them with additional remedial type English and Math classes.
7. We will one day wake up and realize non of this works.
8. We will realized that the No Child Left Behind left pretty much left ALL children behind.
9.We will have geneartions of students that are excellent in filling in multiple choice tests, a skill they rarely if ever use in the real world.
10. We will continue to push blame around and foist it onto some other group etc. when really education is EVERYONE'S problem to solve.
So STAR test you are a waste of my time and I would really like to get back to the regularly scheduled education and stop having to deal with your interruptions.
Because if you don't you just might kill me.

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