Daily posts from a retired public school teacher who is just looking at the data.
Mark Stefanik: PARCCs and recreation.
February 7, 2015
tags: Mark Stefanik, PARCC, Parks and Recreation, testing
“We’re not going to take it.”
– By Mark Stefanik. Mark is a veteran middle school Language Arts teacher. I love it when he finds time to contribute to this site.
For me, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Up with the pre-dawn light, I grab a book from the nightstand, tiptoe past our sleeping dogs, and head downstairs. In the kitchen, I brew a pot of coffee. In the living room, I decide its time to baptize our refurbished fireplace (I had recently conceded that the fireplace, at 117 years old, needed a new damper and some internal mortar work), so I stacked some paper, fatwood, kindling, birch bark, and birch and maple logs and lit her up.
There is definitely an improved airflow, for the flames streak up the flue and remain elongated as the logs begin to smoke. Soon the maple and birch ignite, but it is not a robust flame. I would rather be reading at this point, so I settle for a fire that whimpers rather than roars. I fetch my coffee, slouch over the arms of an easy chair so that my feet can dangle in the warmth of the hearth, and I begin to read. In a short while, the sun rises and the beauty of the wintry light, blue sky, and snow (lots of snow) distracts me from my book. Even the bare tree branches, forming complex cobwebs of black, add to the moment. All of this is framed by the bay windows and I can’t help but wonder WWGOKD – What Would Georgia O’Keefe Do with this scene?
But my morning reverie doesn’t last. Perhaps it’s the coffee or maybe it’s just my restless mind, but my reading recreation is over. I’m a teacher and on Monday I am expected to administer a PARCC practice test.
For me, it doesn’t get much worse than this.
Several weeks ago, we were issued a 168 page test manual which attempted to explain how the test works and how it is to be administrated. The PARCC is to be taken online and, let me tell you, that unless you are currently in education, you have no idea of the madness that this entails. Whether you are a retired teacher who handled ISAT or SAT or Scantron, whether you are a ‘real world’ adult who has memories of your testing experiences, or whether you are a citizen of the internet and your metaphor for the PARCC compares it to some glorified Survey Monkey exercise – you just don’t have enough information about this new way of testing.
Allow me to throw a few thoughts your way. More…