Test Scores and Garage Doors.

Educators hate mandated testing.Garage Door Theory.

Hate.  Hate.  Hate it.

It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard (for those of you younger than 35… chalkboards were used to write on and deliver notes to students before your fancy whiteboards and SMARTBoards came along).

Yet, I think schools perform at a higher level because of testing (not a popular position, I know). 

That being said, I disagree with many of the decisions by the people (politicians) who have put testing in place.

The truth is people perform better when they are evaluated. 

I don’t like it.  You don’t like it.  Nobody likes it.

I’ve never met anyone who said "Yeah, it’s time for my evaluation.  Sweet!"

I can’t say testing has made students smarter, but I think it’s made teachers and administrators more accountable.

I also think it’s a mortal lock that everyone involved, from politicians to testing companies, has benefited more than kids from all this "testing business".

Don’t kid yourself, it’s big business.  Really big.

Those who demand more testing also seem to believe scores are a reflection of student intelligence.  Higher Scores = Better Teachers and Smarter Students.

I don’t buy this.

As educators, we face challenges that can’t be tested.

I think the number one challenge for education and educators in this country is poverty.

My late father-in-law used to say he could drive through any community and tell you their test scores.  He called it his "Garage Door Theory".

More garage doors equaled higher test scores.

Communites with large houses with three car garages did better than communities with smaller houses and fewer garages.

Maybe his theory was a bit simplistic.  Or maybe he was more correct than most of us want to believe.

Comments: 9
Tags: , , ,

Eduspeak Gives Me a Headache.

I'm Carl.  My Head Hurts.

I’m starting to think our sole purpose as educators is to confuse the rest of the world.  

We spend way too much time speaking in initials.

No one… and I mean no one… has any idea what we are talking about.

Below I’ve listed 25 educational acronyms. 

If you know more than 15, you definitely work in education.

If you know more than 20, you are school administrator material.

If you can translate all 25 (and sadly, I can), you are a gigantic dork who needs a hobby.

Answers are at the bottom. 

Don’t cheat.  I’m watching you (as is Buddy the Dog’s crazy Uncle Carl… he’s the handsome devil above).

1.  AASA

2.  ACT

3.  CPS

4.  IDEA

5.  OPMA

6.  GPA

7.  NEA

8.  ASBO

9.  TRS

10.  FICA

11.  AFT

12.  IEP

13.  NAESP

14.  SAT

15.  NSBA

16.  AESD

17.  NCLB

18.  ASCD

19.  GED

20.  ASFSA

21.  RTI

22.  NREA

23.  NASSP

24.  EEOC

25.  SAT

Bonus:  CYA

Answers:  1. American Association of School Administrators  2. American College Test  3. Child Protective Services  4. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act  5. Open Public Meetings Act  6. Grade Point Average  7. National Education Association  8. Association of School Business Officials  9. Teachers’ Retirement System  10. Federal Insurance Contributions Act  11. American Federation of Teachers  12. Individualized Educational Program  13. National Association of Elementary School Principals  14. Scholastic Assessment Test  15.  National School Boards Association  16. Association of Educational Service Districts  17. No Child Left Behind  18. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development  19. General Education Development Tests (or Certificates)  20. American School Food Service Association  21. Response to Intervention  22. National Rural Education Association  23. National Association of Secondary School Principals  24. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  25. Scholastic Aptitude Test  Bonus: Cover Your A**

Comments: 14
Tags: , , ,

All Blogs Are Niche Blogs.

My last blog (the one before this one) inspired several people to point out I had fallen off the Sarcasm Train.

I don’t mind saying that hurt.  Falling off a train almost always stings.

I pride myself on my ability to be sarcastic.  Without being too hateful (practice makes perfect).

Or maybe I’m hateful.  Whatever.  Makes me little difference.I Need Sarcasm, Like I Need Oxygen.

I’m here for my own amusement, not to entertain the people who should be focusing on their work instead of cruising the internet and reading my blog.

Maybe the last blog wasn’t sarcastic.  Maybe I was expanding my writing techniques.  Maybe I had a head cold.  Or maybe I just happened to be in a good mood that particular day.

Actually it was none of those.  I just took a day off from the sarcasm. 

Even Tiger Woods has a bad day once in a while (cocktail waitresses Tiger???… did you really expect them to keep a secret for the next 50 years considering you are 1 of the 10 most famous people in the world???).

Our friends at Wikipedia define sarcasm as a rhetorical device of using a characterization of something or someone in order to express contempt.

I almost feel giddy just typing it.

Education is ripe for this type of contempt.  There is always something or someone who needs slapped down in the educational world.

And I’m more than willing to do my part.

If nothing else, I’m a team player.

There is a problem with sarcasm though.  Most people don’t get it.  Many think it’s mean or stupid.

But I’m okay with that.

It makes me smile.  And by smile I mean roll my eyes.

There is an even larger problem.

I’m writing (?) for a  very finite group.

Readers tell me they don’t blog because no one would be interested in what they have to say.  I think this is dead wrong.  There are lots of crazy people who think just like they do (and they are out there… trust me).

All blogs are niche blogs.  Take mine for example (and it is for sale if anyone is interested).

You have all of the blogs in the world.  Get rid of the 99.42% that don’t deal with education.  Then take all of the educators in the world and get rid of the 99.42% who don’t read blogs.

Then lose the 98.37% of blog reading educators who don’t read this blog.

And then scrap the ones who hate sarcasm and think I’m an idiot (nearly 100%).

That’s how you come up with my readers.

Not a huge group.

Somewhere in the vicinity of .000000000027345% of people who have internet.

But lucky for me, it’s a loyal group.

On a monthly basis it’s thousands of people who have an interest in education, schools, teachers, students, administrators, technology, sarcasm, and evidently mediocre writing.

It’s quite obvious what they like.


And lot’s of it.

So I’m returning to my roots.

No more intelligent, thought-provoking blogs about parenting and the effects it has not only on schools, but our society.

I’m going back to the tried and true.

Anger, disgust, and contempt for all things that bother me.

And of course my love of Buddy the Dog

Comments: 6
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.