Chronicling the time crunch

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(If you are starting here, I suggest you backtrack to January 14th and read forward in time.)

I don’t have time for this post. Or the cat who is pestering me. Or the dog behind me who needs a walk. I am attempting to get down the nitty-gritty details of why our increasing demands for data are hurting America’s students, but here’s my morning’s irony: I don’t have time for this blog either.

Eduhonesty: Still, let me add yesterday’s stats. I spent 3.2 hours on ACCESS testing. Essentially, I lost my whole morning. I damaged my already foreshortened afternoon. The afternoon had an incentive activity — we showed a movie during tutoring — and, during actual classes, my students were in that edgy, fried state created by a morning of standardized testing. We did manage to get some math done, anyway.

I need to go now. I would love to work on preparing interesting, creative instruction but I can’t. I have to grade my SLOs.* I spent the whole evening grading SLOs last night. I just keep putting daily work in a folder to grade this week-end.

I need to document the effect of SLO grading and its offshoots but I also need to get ready for the day. Have a great day, readers. Despite the unadvertised and sometimes depressing nature of this blog, data indicates my words are being read.

*SLO: Student Learning Objective, in this case a final test on material that students had mostly never seen or heard before in their lives. They will repeat the SLO test at term’s end to show how much they have learned. I put this in with standardized testing because it’s another test that does not test what students have learned, another test that they all or almost all fail miserably, but entirely predictably, based on material we believe they have not yet encountered. The SLO is used to grade teachers. It sucks a fair amount of time from preparation for instruction, as well as at least one-class period from students. Since all classes have SLOs, it sucks one full day of instruction from my classes overall. We are doing this each term, so SLOs will take 2 days or 1/90 of the entire school year away from students. If we do this quarterly (we’re still working it out), then the loss will be 1/45 of the school year.