I know that I haven’t posted in a week or so, but testing has taken a lot of out me. Can I be honest here? I hate ACCESS testing. It is the largest waste of time we have in the ELL world. For those who don’t know what that test is, let me sum it up. The WIDA Access test is a battery of 4 tests; listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Each test is designed to take a certain amount of time, which can vary between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. YES, I said HOURS. Plural. This is where my problems with the test start to unfold. The tests, again plural, take up an inordinate amount of time. Then you have the speaking test. Let’s talk about the speaking test.
The speaking test can only be done with up to 8 students in a room, at a time. Take 176 + students and divide that by 8 and you end up with 22. 22 groups, on 6 different class / grade schedules, with numerous absent students and other issues in-between. It’s kind of like juggling Rubik’s cubes while trying to solve quadratic equations. And that’s just from the teacher’s perspective. I have to ask, is this truly necessary?
In other news, Betsy Devos gave a riveting interview the other day with 60 Minutes. I haven’t watched it yet, so I won’t comment at this time; however, I would caution that it’s probably heavily edited to make her sound much worse then she probably intended. While I completely disagree with her on every policy point that exists, I do know how news agencies work, so we should probably take the interview with a small grain of salt. Small grain.
Finally, for this week I wanted to share for this week is that the internet scares me. Like, truly scares the crap out of me. The level of disregard people have for other people, perspectives, and even common decency is magnified immensely by the internet. Shortly after Wednesday’s staged Walkouts, I read the comments section of a prominent news organization. That was mistake number one. Following that reading, I was scrolling through my feed and noticed a video posted by a fellow veteran. Everyone is allowed to process the walkout and have a conversation about it. Yet for some reason, the comments of people against the walkouts are not just negative, but blatantly repugnant. It’s gross.
So to end on a positive note, one more week and it will be spring break. Enjoy the time off everyone!