"Gr-r-r-there go, my heart's abhorrence!" With apologies to Robert Browning and his "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister."
We have three computer labs in my school. All are booked for six weeks to accommodate the state-mandated test. We have a media center with room for one class--almost. It only has twenty-eight computers. It, too, doubles as a testing center but for the AP tests.
Still, the tests reign. So while I played "Angry Birds" last night, a metaphor formed in my mind. Here I offer two options:
1. The birds = teachers and/or students. The pigs=the tests and/or their proponents.
2. The birds=the tests and/or their proponents. The pigs= the teachers and/or students.
Both metaphors speak to the feeling I have of being hurled into a fortress of federal mandates and of having said mandates thrown at me.
Those who have discovered the addictive pull of "Angry Birds" know what I'm talking about. For others, I offer a brief tutorial.
I'm required to teach research skills in both my speech and English classes. The all-important tests prohibit me from offering students sufficient media center or lab time.
Today I shared the media center with a colleague; another colleague has graciously sacrificed two of her media center days for one of my speech classes; a third colleague has agreed to share computers with yet another class.
I'm certain many teachers around the country have tales to tell of a much more horrific nature. I hope you'll share.
"Angry Birds" is free. There's nothing remotely free about standardized tests of any flavor. Like the federal deficit, we don't yet know the real cost to education; we just keep piling it on.