In which we’re facebook official

imgresI’m writing this while listening to/watching the livestream of Richard Hill’s presentation to the Indiana Department of Education about the interruptions in ISTEP testing earlier this year.  I haven’t read the whole report, obviously– it was just released fifteen minutes ago– but he’s already nutshelled his own results:  he found no evidence whatsoever that the interruptions had an overall effect on test scores.  This seems, initially, entirely unbelievable, but he appears to have included his numbers in the report and he says he’s going to go over them.  So it looks like ISTEP is going to count after all this year.

(And he’s showing some charts now, and, well, yeah, that looks rather convincing.)

(Fifteen minutes or so later, this guy is doing precisely the analyses that I’d do if they’d hired me, and… yeah.  No effect.  Remarkable.  I don’t even know how that could be possible.)

So, uh, DOE, could I maybe have my goddamn results, then?  Like, YESTERDAY?  Please?

In other news, Indiana has pulled out of the PARCC consortium, which is good news, as the PARCC scared the hell out of me.  But it also means that all the money we’ve spent on getting ourselves ready for the PARCC and the Common Core over the last year or so appears to have been completely wasted money.


I’m changing jobs next year.  I’ve known it was coming for about a week now, but it just became official today.  I’ve been teaching sixth grade math and science for the last two years, and next year I will teach seventh and eighth grade math.  I’ll have three groups of kids; I should get the eighth grade honors group and it hasn’t been determined yet what my other two groups are going to be yet.  I had my interview today and then spent a couple of hours sitting in my classroom.

(Somehow, I failed to take any pictures.  I’m not sure how I managed that.)

I don’t know what the hell to do with this room.  Like, everything that is supposed to be there is there, but it’s all in the wrong bloody place.  My building was an elementary building eight or so years ago, and my classroom used to be a kindergarten classroom.  There’s a weird alcove along one wall that I don’t know what the hell to do with.  Right now the only good way to do it is going to be to set the room up along the longer axis, which I’ve never liked doing– my kids don’t like to wear their glasses, and when they get forced to wear them they tend to “lose” them a lot, so I like to try and get everyone as close to the whiteboard as possible.  I’ve also lost some whiteboard space since there’s not as much wall to hang it on.  There is, in fact, generally a lack of wall space across the classroom.  Right now I don’t know where to put any of my stuff.  Also, I’m way too damn far from the teacher bathroom.  🙂

Positives:  the light in the room is wonderful, and since I’m basically off in a corner noise level isn’t going to be as much of a problem as it is in a classroom in the middle of the hall.  There’s a ton of existing storage in the classroom, which is also good.  I’ve finally got real middle school desks, which I prefer to the type we were using in my old classroom.

I have a training thing to go to this week, for a subject I no longer teach.  If I go, I get to put $300 in my pocket.  If I don’t go, I get to spend the week working in my classroom and figuring all this out.  Right now I don’t know what I’m going to do.

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Luther M. Siler

The author of SKYLIGHTS, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES and several other books.