In which assessment is stupid

My kids– most of them, anyway– took a test today, and I cannot for the life of me decide whether I have made a massive error in entering this career. On one hand, way more of them failed than should have; I was pretty confident going into today, and my raw pass rates and scores were … not good.

On the other hand, we use a pretest/posttest model, and out of the seventy some kids who took the test today and who I have pre-test scores for (a bunch of them will have to test tomorrow for one reason or another) all but, like, five improved their scores. Not one of them was above 33% on the pretest– not surprising, given that they hadn’t been taught the material– and while there were a lot of failures there weren’t many kids under that mark. So … that’s progress, right? Of a kind, at least?

What if I told you that the kid who skipped my class nine days out of ten during the first semester and has been here every day during the second got a 90% on the test, was given a gold star sticker for her efforts, and when I saw her in the hall a few minutes later was wearing said sticker on her face? Because, I tell you what, I’m going to be grooving on that feeling for a week or two.

Meanwhile, I’ve been sitting at my desk grading and recording test data for, like, two and a half hours, so I think I’ll go interact with my family for a bit before everyone goes to bed.

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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.

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