This calls to mind the headline from the weekend (see the story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/education/curious-grade-for-teachers-nearly-all-pass.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&ref=nyregion) that indicated more than 95% of teachers in 3 states were scoring highly on the brand spanking new teacher assessment tool. Of course, there was an immediate assertion that either the instrument of evaluation was flawed or it was not being properly applied. Heave forbid we have good teachers! Looks like we are going back to the drawing baord with this evaluation as well. And recently, the Texas Legislature put a hold on the new EOC tests that had been put into place. All of them were due to be implemented and to count for 15% of the final course grade. In part, concerns have been expressed about the incredibly high costs of such measurements, about the % of the final grade in a course, and about the potentially high failure rates that could result (the English I raw score average was 33 out of 56, technically a 59%; however, pass rates are not set in the usual manner and I wonder how many outside of education know that?).
So, how am I celebrating April Fool's Day and the opening of STAAR season? By weeding books and setting up 5 carts and a table full of books. Tomorrow one of the college's methods classes is coming by to take books for their future classroom libraries. Yes, that's right. I am giving books to blooming teachers. It's the least I can do. So enough lamentation about testing. Back to teh sweaty work of weeding. A much more constructive use of my time, right?