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Monday, January 21, 2013

Where Have All The Instructional Days Gone?

Albany - An examination of the New York State testing schedule for this school year holds a surprise. For the first time in the state's history, more days will be spent on testing and test preparation than on actual instruction.

In any given month, there are approximately
eight instructional days
New York State's Education Commissioner John King held a press conference to confirm this unusual occurrence. "We acknowledge that given the number of days for benchmark assessments, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, state tests, mid-terms, finals, exams for English Language Learners and those taking alternative assessments, unit tests, make-up days for those who were absent and given that teachers typically use the weeks before a high-stakes exam for test preparation, that for the first time in New York State history there are actually fewer instructional days than testing days."

Asked if he saw anything wrong with requiring more testing than teaching, Commissioner King responded, "I don't really give a crap. My children attend private school."

The president of New York State's largest teachers union, the United Federation of Teachers, Michael Mulgrew issued this statement, "In response to the shifting job responsibilities of our membership, we have changed our name to the United Federation of Test Administers. We want to reassure our membership that the UFTA will continue to work to protect their rights and to defend public education." When someone in the crowd snorted, Mulgrew had him forcibly removed.

Outside of PS 61 in Brooklyn, ten-year-old Aaron Bossier was asked how he felt about the new schedule. "I used to like school. We went on trips and did fun projects. Now it's all bundles and tests, bundles and tests.  Aren't we going to learn anything?"

2 comments:

  1. I thought I was going to read an insightful post on test and instead found more liberal biases. You are obviously not a teacher and don't understand what it is like in the trenches with 30 kids in a class. Without this extra testing I would not have time during the day to check Facebook and complete my online shopping for birthdays and Christmas. I used to spend my summer researching and planning units, but now since they are given to me I can sit back and relax. You don't seem to understand the stress of having to pass out, read directions, collect, pass out, read directions, and collect tests day after day. Without having the time to relax over the summer I might accidentally forget to collect a test...do you know the trouble our school system would be in? You also forget about all the professional development I have to attend in order to interpret the data from these tests. Remove the tests, the meetings get removed. Remove the meetings, and there goes my opportunity to break the next level on Angry Birds. It is obvious you are one of those hippies who wants to arrive early and stay late, well buddy, that is a recipe for a heart attack. Next time you are at the doctors being warned about your high blood pressure due to your project based authentic learning experiences, you might start thinking differently about the positive benefits of testing. Test longer, live longer.
    Let me guess...your next post is on why we should have organic lunches?
    By the way, I know Aaron Bossier...all he did in class was complain about the lack of recess and computers, not the kind of kid you want to go around quoting.

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  2. Dear Students Last,

    Thanks for posting news about New York State's Education Commissioner John King press conference on this. It is truly amazing and tragic that irate commentators beg for more.

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