I remember the day when teaching was teaching. And part of teaching was observations of students so we knew what to teach them next, what gaps to fill, or what to back up to in order to help guide their learning. We didn't need 1 MILLION standardized tests in packet form, digital form or any other form. Our PROFESSIONAL observation was just that - professional and respected. If an administrator, parent, school board member, superintendent, or heaven forbid a politician walked in, I could tell them exactly what each child in my classroom knew and needed to work on. And guess what...they believed me, trusted me, and respected me enough to allow me to continue teaching without question, without PROOF in the form of a 20 page spreadsheet or downloaded, norm-referenced, state mandated something or other. Don't get me wrong. I am all for accountability. I work hard and expect my colleagues to work hard, too. Children's futures are too valuable to not expect the highest quality for them. Want to know how I knew what my students needed? It's because I had time to spend with them and TEACH. Imagine that! Now I feel like I get to teach a week, test a week, analyze the data for a few hours, teach a week, test a week, etc. Good grief! And if I hear the excuse, "Yes, but you are a veteran teacher. What about new teachers? How will they know how to help students?" ARRRGGG! We were all new once and we all seemed to know our students. Again, it's because we were allowed to TEACH and talk with colleagues! Teachers actually liked talking to each other because we didn't have to look at spreadsheets for hours with each other. New teachers learned from veteran teachers and administrators helped in the classrooms. Yes, I do remember that. Now they are inundated with their own pile of spreadsheets. SB191 wants to add to the piles. LET ME TEACH! Let my administrator mentor. Let my students have time to learn not take up all their time with tests.
I think I am going to create progress monitoring for politicians and test them every two weeks. If they don't improve in efficiency, and whatever else I decide to test them on, by the end of the legislative session, then they are out of there! If congress as a whole can't show improvement with my progress monitoring, then the Governor is out of there, too! Hmmm...now where to find the time and money to create the tests. Appropriations can probably help me out with that - I bet I can find more donations for my progress monitoring of them then they can for SB191!