Apologies on a thread of interest and more on the PARCC

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I’ve pulled a couple of posts that created a fair amount of interest. A district/union dispute is underway and, while I believe I am sufficiently anonymous, for the sake of a colleague, I don’t intend to test those waters. I will conclude this apology for the missing posts by saying that if you are suffering because of a district’s numbers in your evaluation, you might check those numbers. America has become fairly innumerate in the last few decades. Funny things can happen to weighted averages in the hands of the innumerate.

As to PARCC, that rocket took off and crashed almost immediately. I know of two other districts where the same thing happened, info received from teachers texting friends in other districts at lunch. We had too many computers on the internet at once and our system could not handle the load. Whether the fault belongs to Pearson, the school district, or AT&T, we scratched afternoon testing and I don’t know what our resumption plans are as yet.

Eduhonesty: We should have opted to do the paper version, especially since we are a poor district; many of our kids do not have working computers in their homes. The computerized version was going to be a problem even if it functioned as intended which, most emphatically, it did not. Any computerized testing system will be heavily biased in favor of higher-technology districts. I understand my district’s desire to step into the 21st century, but personally I would not have made that move without providing considerably more computer training than our students have received.

I had planned to do PARCC practice with my students today, since we were scheduled to test later, but I could not get on the internet either. No one could, except for brief bursts of connectivity that vanished and reappeared in random, fleeting windows of time.