The Biggest Test in the Universe

Day 279

We were one of the several states affected when the company providing our high-stakes (grades 3-5) computerized standardized test crashed its server today for the second day in a row.

In addition, the (other) company providing early literacy assessment for our grades K-2 informed us via an automated message on their support line that their server was down as well.

Our kids are mandated to be tested at least five times a year by some form of standardized testing, with the current batch the one that “counts” the most.

I try not to express argumentative opinions about education here, rather to keep it positive and amusing.  But as our principal stated in a memorandum today, “in an environment where students are evaluated by these assessments, teachers are evaluated by student scores and growth as noted on these assessments, and schools are ranked by these results” it can be difficult.

Once again, I’ll just let our computer teacher express it:



The Library Card

Day 277

“Ever since we had arrived in the United States, my classmates kept asking me about magic carpets.  ‘They don’t exist’ I always said.  I was wrong.  Magic carpets do exist.  But they are called library cards.”

-Firoozeh Dumas, Laughing Without an Accent


This weekend I did something I haven’t done in a while.  I sat down to read a book.  Not for work.  Not in bits and pieces over a month.  Just a library book.  Just for me.


Absolutely Normal Chaos

Day 271

    • Vicki was out today
    • I told a fifth grader to stop hopping like a kangaroo
  • Our fourth grade ADHD swearer/spitter/harasser was nonstop LOUD
  • A third grader is angry at me because she put off getting a biography for three weeks and wound up with Sam Adams
  • The student I’m supposed to walk down the stairs to lunch (depth perception issues) insisted on waiting for her invisible friend to catch up with us
        • Our second-grader-going-on-three-year-old threw a real-for-sure tantrum in the library complete with stomping feet and crying
        • Two first graders managed to actually leave the building en route from speech to the library
        • And to top it all off the kindergarteners locked me out of my office

Seriously, if this was normal chaos, I’d have run screaming from the building, gotten in my car, and headed for Canada by now.