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Saturday, April 26, 2008

I Agonized Over a $35 Squirrel...

Standardized testing makes me want to hurt myself. And yet, every time a new issue of NEA Today comes in, there's something on the cover about high stakes testing. High stakes testing has become THE hot button issue in education. Basically, kids have to pass this test to prove that they've been educated well enough to function in polite society. However, what this does to the field of education in general is completely cripple a teacher's ability to teach creatively. Didn't get to the Mayan ruins because you did an interactive art project with the kids? You fail. Hell, you may even get fired.

The worst part is...I can't even pass the standardized high stakes test here in my state. I graduated from high school a year early, then finished my undergrad in 3 years. I scored high on my SAT's and blew all my teacher's tests out of the water. I was in the top percentile of my class and yet if I went back to high school now, I wouldn't pass the MCAS and wouldn't graduate because of it.

So why am I prattling on about this? Well, because I'm going back to teaching as of May 12th. I'm tired of my little vacation in visual merchandising and I can't wait to get into a classroom again. It's like being away from home for a while. It was nice while it lasted but you're thrilled to be home where you belong. In preparation, I've started reading through all of the education magazines I've had piled up here and there in my apartment to make sure I'm not missing anything vital in my field. Good to see not much has changed. Also good to see that standardized testing still makes me want to hurt myself.

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