Woke up early and wrote this:
It's 0430 and already I'm fretting. I'm fretting mostly about public education. That topic eats into my joy. I'm tired,
not just from being up at 0430, but also from that topic awakening me. I am tired of my governor, my state's legislators,
and my Department and Board of Education. I'm tired of "big whiggie" people in my state taking advantage of children
and their families under the pretense of "equity". Tired of the "big whiggies" making lots of money at
the expense of vulnerable people.
Tired of testing.
tired of being a test administrator. I'm tired of daily reading testing "You-May-Nots" and "If-You-Do's".
Tired of watching children slumped in testing chairs in front of testing computers in testing labs. Tired of standing around
day after day in those testing labs. "You," the state's 'You-May-Nots' seem to include for me: "may not do
ANYTHING other than watch children be bored out of their minds. You most certainly MAY NOT look even once at 'The Test' on
any computer screen at any time for any reason! WE WILL FIRE YOUR A@@ if you do...."
of schools' resources being spent on even more computers so that schools' libraries, for example, can be turned into even
more testing labs.
As I said, I am tired.
I am tired
of meeting with parents and children about "The Test." Tired of pretending the damn thing's important. Tired of
using my "personal skills"--and by golly, I got me some after 26 years of being a flight attendant--to put smiles
on almost all testing worried parents' faces.
Tired of pulling out the lipstick and
applying it to the testing pig.
I'm so, so tired of children not graduating because of
this test. This awful test. This test that eats up children and schools. Devours time and resources. Gobbles up futures and
hopes and dreams.
I'm tired of the Department of Education's intimidation. coercion,
and fear mongering. "You BETTER put on the testing lipstick! We DARE you not to gussy up our standardized swine!"
Tired of "choice." I contend that if community based public schools were all that all children deserve, then
parents would choose public schools "down the street" instead of charter schools "across town."
Tired of: "Teach Like a Champion" by Doug Lemov. My district uses this book to "guide instruction."
What a bunch of (as my father would say) "horses#@t"! Am I the only employee to have watched the accompanying CD?
Am I the only one horrified to see the CD's robot children hopping up as a young teacher claps her hands and barks her orders?!
Am I the only appalled person in my entire school district who will call out this dangerous nonsense?
I've got, however, my own personal "You-May-Nots"and "If-You-Do's": You may not stay quiet about
testing abuse. You may not abandon public education to a bunch of money grubbing bureaucrats. You may not.
may not, for if you do...you won't much like yourself. For sure, you won't be able to sleep.