I took the day off from work on Friday. Stress at work is high. I needed a mental break. My students will take the CST on Tuesday (the CST is a test, a very important test, but I won't tell you what the initials stand for since I was asked to sign an affidavit saying I won't talk about it).
My principal, who takes things a step further has "encouraged" teachers to avoid teaching Art, Music, Science, and Social Studies and to focus on test prep, test prep, and test prep. If we wanted to teach these subjects we had to justify its importance over the CST by writing a paper. So, for the last month, I've been obediently reviewing Math for two hours and Language Arts for four hours. I've been obedient for several reasons, I'll just mention two: My students are limited in English. The CST is in English and they need all the practice they can get. Two, we actually have teachers at our school district that say: Those Mexican children bring our scores down. My students are Mexican and don't worry, I'm too tired and stressed to lash out my anger at those teachers..today.
You see, the game/threat is simple: If our school does not meet its academic score/goal on the CST, the state will take over. I asked my administrators many times to explain "take over," but nobody really does and with my hyperactive imagination and pessimism, sometimes I think the worst:
These are not good days for education.
Guiño a Plympton. [Flickr]
8 hours ago