The Volunteer State has put into action a number of education reforms over the past few years, some good, some bad, and some we're still trying to figure out.
This year, for the first time ever, the Very Big Deal Government Mandated Tests actually Count For a Grade.
Let me say that again in case you just bashed your head onto the keyboard in shock - This Year For The First Time Ever, The Very Big Deal Government Mandated Tests Actually Count for a Grade.
We're not exactly sure how this is all going to play out. This year the score counts as 15% of the spring semester grade. Our last test is Friday, and the last day of school is May 22, so that's not a lot of time for the tests to get processed and some scores sent back to us. The Principal said to "be prepared for anything." Our traditional promotion and retention meetings are pretty much out the window until the scores come because it probably will make the difference in passing and failing for some kids. We've been asked to sort of have a list of kids "on the border" to keep an eye on should they either pass or fail once the scores have entered.
Now, we have been telling the kids this (and the parents) over and over and over all year. No more just sitting there and bubbling in Christmas Tree designs on your form. It counts. No more finishing in ten minutes. It counts. No more napping during the test. Because, you see, It Counts.
Amazingly enough, I still received a few parent emails from parents who either don't read the paper, listen to the news, pay attention to The School Newsletter, don't read my emails, or basically have their heads in the sand so deep that it just now dawned on them that their darling may not make it this year due to The Test. These are, for the most part, parents I've been poking and prodding and cajoling and calling and basically trying to get them to PARENT FOR GOODNESS SAKE! but they just couldn't seem to get it together enough to make a parent meeting, sign an agenda, or return a phone call.
Really. And now, they're worried? They should have been worried when I made that first phone call last fall.