By the end of the 2012-2013 school year, I will have spent at least 40 school days (there are 180 in total) doing standardized test-related work. In September, I had to administer the LAB-R to identify new ELLs (English-language learners). Because of my out-of-the-classroom teaching position, I also proctored the ELA and math exams (each test lasted three days plus I did make-ups), and I assisted with the testing materials organization effort (cutting labels to affix on booklets, bubbling and counting answer grids, counting rulers and protractors and other thrilling activities). There is no money to pay a sub to do this work. Right now I’m wrapping up the administration of the NYSESLAT exam to the 150+ ELLs in my building. The 2013 NYSESLAT reflects the Common Core State Standards and is comprised of four parts: speaking (administered one-on-one), listening, reading and writing. Next week my colleagues and I will score the writing part.
22% of my time at school this year will have been spent doing state test work, NOT teaching. That’s 40 days of lost instruction. Did I mention that ESL (English as a Second Language) is a mandated program? ELLs are among those most in need of academic support (scaffolding) and small group instruction. I cannot support national standards that encourage such excessive testing. The slogan “Children first. Always” should be removed from the NYC DOE’s website.