Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May I Take a Message, Please?

Our state has introduced a new twist into high-stakes testing this year. "Expedited retakes" for students in grades 3-8 are meant to relieve the stress of testing by letting kids and families know that any student who scores just a bit below the proficiency level can be quickly remediated and given a second crack at passing, with parent permission, of course.

Since this is the first year of the practice, the logistics of implementing it are necessarily trial and error. For example, today was the first test; students took a reading assessment from 9-12 this morning. In this day and age of online testing, the results were available right after lunch, and it fell to the counselor to inform the students who hadn't passed and get permission as soon as possible from their parents for remediation and a retake.

She used her phone to call and ask for kids to come to her office from their last period class so she could speak to each privately, but after the second student returned to class, everyone knew what the calls were for, and so each time the phone rang they held their collective breath, waiting to see who the teacher would send to the office next.

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