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The blogger known as “Dad Gone Wild” lives in Chattanooga, and he is astonished by the Tennessee Department of Education’s inability to schedule and complete the state testing. First, it was all going to be online, but the platform crashed. Then, it was back to paper-and-pencil, but unknown numbers of schools never received the tests. Kids were scheduled to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday by reading, but that was canceled for testing. Now, school trips scheduled long ago will be canceled, because the testing window has moved again.
Remember when they said that “reform” was all about the kids? This dad thinks that none of this is for the kids or about the kids.
All the lectures I’ve received over the last couple of years about how the kids come first and now that we are in the midst of a fiasco that is basically robbing our kids of the last two months of their school year, nobody can address them. Here’s a newsflash: you only get one 4th grade March. You only get one 7th grade April. What the Tennessee Department of Education is essentially saying is that these tests supersede their needs and their right to an actual education, and that it’s not even necessary to ask kids if they are okay with giving up that time. As a parent, that angers me. As a kid, it would incense me.
And what about the teachers? The instructional time lost due to test preparation aside, teachers have been scrambling to create new lesson plans for all of these shifts in testing schedules. I guarantee teachers would prefer to not have to deal with this incompetence from the DOE and instead have the authority to plan lessons that would be truly beneficial to their students. It’s maddening and very time-consuming to constantly be changing the schedule. But hey, Governor Haslam and TNDOE are saying these tests won’t count, or well maybe they’ll count, but hey…let’s just take them and we’ll figure out what they count for after we have the results. Have you ever heard of such a thing? It’s insanity.