Monday, March 26, 2012

No A-list Today!

I know that all of you woke up this morning looking forward to the A-List, but this is the start of our agonizingly mind-numbing round of state assessments in the schools.  My brain has been completely hijacked for a bit, and besides, I have to try to come up with some new stuff. 

As if we didn't traumatize children enough by forcing them to actually learn stuff, we have to test them as well!  All this could have been avoided if a different political party had been in off---okay, even a drunken sailor wouldn't buy that, so let's move on. 

On this bright and shiny day, public schools all around the great state of Texas will be completely freaking out. This is the day before the actual test, you see.   There will be lots of panicked teachers trying to make sure that every single student has every single possible accommodation they might possibly need to have, even if they don't want it.  There will be lots of panicked administrators poring over scantrons and other documents, trying to make sure that they ordered enough of the correct tests for each grade level.  There will be lots of panicked students, wide-eyed in horror at the idea that they will now only have FOUR hours to complete the test, instead of all day like before. 

This is a brand-spanking new state assessment that nobody has ever seen before.  It is called the STAAR, because someone gets paid a lot of money to come up with initials for tests.  If I sound a bit irritated, it's because I know that if we completely did away with state testing(billions of dollars!), and instead spent that money on actual education, we wouldn't be looking at one of the more undereducated workforces in the country. 

But it is what it is, and we shall have to deal with it.  So I've spent the past week listening patiently to panicked teachers, and helping out when I can.  This week I will be on 'shenanigans duty'--parked in the halls to make sure children on their way to and from the bathroom don't exchange answers.  Not that I've ever seen them do this, but they might!

Most schools will be holding some form of a pep rally this afternoon to get the kids psyched up.  My husband's school has an extremely enthusiastic principal; she asked that all teachers show up to the pep rally dressed as characters from...Star Wars.  Or rather, STAAR Wars!   Larry took to this request with an enthusiasm usually reserved for the release of the latest Iron Maiden cd/dvd/etc.  He already had a cloak from his Nazgul costume, and we've got light sabers out the wazoo.  The man found a Darth Maul mast, borrowed some black gloves from his Batman costume, and voila!  Darth Maul will be fighting the evil state assessment!  I tried to be encouraging, although admittedly my knowledge of the Star Wars 'verse is limited.  But I hope to get to his school in time to see the costume parade.

I  pray fervently that no one shows up in the skimpy Princess Leia costume that she wore when hanging with Jabba. 


  1. My kids hated these tests. Was a bit stressful for them. Is STAAR new? We're in Illinois and it sounds familiar. Funny about the Star Wars costumes but you have to credit the principal for being creative!

    Good luck with "Shenanigans duty".

  2. At least the principal isn't making the kids dress like Star Wars characters! I want every politician running for office this year to have to take the tests and publish their results.

  3. I wonder what my blood pressure is at right now...the Star Wars stuff did bring me down off the ledge a little bit though!


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