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Daily Archives: April 30th, 2008

Today was the End of Instruction test for Geometry, one of my classes…

I’ve been begging and pleading for the last three weeks for them to try their best.  Please don’t randomly check answers, try to pass. 

I am the test administrator for my 63 lovely, young, fresh-faced students.  It is an online test.  I manage to get all 63 logged in, read the instructions, and turn them loose.  This part is a 60 minute test, but if they need more time, the test isn’t really timed. 

As I’m wandering up and down I notice, without looking at the test question close enough to read it, that one young lady has been on the first question for 10 minutes.

“Is everything alright with your computer?”  I ask.

“Yup, everything’s fine.”

6 minutes or so later, as I pass by, I notice she’s still on the first question.

“Everything okay?”

“Yes, Mr. W, everything is fine.”

Next pass-by, still on the first question.

“Hey, April, what?” and I shrug my shoulders.

“You’ve been telling us to take our time and do our best, right?  And you told us this test isn’t timed, right?  I’m gonna need some extra time on this Mr. W”


At the 60 minute mark she still hasn’t answered the first question.  My runner hasn’t been by to check if we need anything, I can’t leave or send my monitor for help, I can’t force her to answer the questions, I don’t need this freaking headache that’s forming behind my eyes…

One kid in the middle of the room raises his hand.  I walk over and ask, in a quiet voice, what he needs.

“I need to go to the bathroom.”

“Sorry Johnny, nobody leaves the room until all the tests are completed.”

April is sitting in the front so nearly everyone can see her monitor.  They know who the hold-up is.  Rumblings begin.  April looks around and realizes that she is quickly becoming public enemy number 1.  She starts clicking and finishes the test in about 2 minutes.

Its crap like this that makes these high stakes test so frustrating.  In my state, at least, the students have no consequences for doing bad.  The test doesn’t count on their grade, it makes no difference as to graduation. 

No child left behind, my ass.

Picture it, Sicily, 1978.  A young man is nearing the end of his high school experience.  It is just a few short weeks until graduation.  The father of our young man comes home one day and says, “I’ve been transferred.  We’re moving to Oklahoma.” 

“When, dear father, will this occur?” asks the young man.


“But, father, what about school?  I’m about to graduate.”

Long story short [I know, too late] the high school I was attending in New Jersey agreed to let the new school in Oklahoma send my grades back to them and i would officially ‘graduate’ from New Jersey.  Yeah, it sucked moving that late in my senior year, but if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have met a certain young lady, and I wouldn’t have been married to her for 27 years and…    anyway.  So I have a diploma from Cherry Hill High School East.

I now teach in the high school that I moved into for 3 weeks in 1978.

After school today I was in the office of the registrar talking to her [or hiding from the kids who wanted to talk to me about an assignment that was due yesterday] when a kid came in.  He said he had graduated last year and never picked up his diploma and wondered if he could still get it.  Ruth the Registrar went into the vault and gave the kid his diploma.

Now, I have to admit, I’m sorta a smartass.  I know that may be hard to believe, but, there it is.

When Ruth the Registrar came back in her office I said, mockingly, “I graduated in 1978 and never picked up my diploma and I was wondering if I could still get it?”

Ruth the Registrar walked out without saying a word, went to vault and came back not a minute later with a large white envelope with my name on it.  And I’ll be damned, but there was my diploma.  30 years later and it was still on file.

Ruth laughed and said, “Daaaaaaaamn, tell me how good I am”

You’re good Ruth, you’re damn good.