This is the month for state testing in Ohio. My fifth graders just completed 3 days of testing-math, reading, and science. I live in a state in which 50% of my evaluation will be based on this year's reading and math scores. My students this year will determine my evaluation for next school year 2013-2014. Does it make sense? Can I explain it even to my husband, parents or neighbors not really. When they ask me questions that I can't answer as an educator of 24 years it makes me extremely disheartened.
But let's be honest.
I chose to integrate test taking strategies all year. My school has implemented a K-5 procedure for helping students with their extended responses. We worked on our RACE strategies all year, and my students know how to break a question apart (TTQA) and answer with evidence and support. But let's be honest.
When my door is closed, and we are having rich conversations about our read aloud this year. Sharing Wonder and How to Steal a Dog. Allowing students time to work on their weekly reading goals which for several students includes reading a poetry book or a non fiction book for the first time. That is true celebration! These success stories will not be a part of my evaluation because there is not any way to "measure" the value of these experiences. I would argue there is a way-
I would argue the value is 100%- all of my students have read a new genre this year-one they never would have considered in the past and several are now hooked on that genre.
I would argue that the value is 90%-almost all of my students wrote and published their first poem ever. By publishing, they read it front of their peers on Poetry Friday.
I would argue that the value is 85%-most of my students have a private vocabulary notebook that they carry around from school to home and collect their words on the weekend, watching ESPN, reading the paper, or at a soccer tournament.
I would argue that the value of 100% is ALL my students are readers because they want to be-they do not record minutes, they don't have to read a genre every month assigned to them. They are all readers because they choose what they read, when they read and set their own goals. My students are all READERS!
Let's be honest-isn't that what we want for all students from K-12? Not individually assigned a color of red, yellow, and green? Let's be honest.