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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.


  1. In my state doing poorly on these standardized tests can mean the student not getting promoted to the next grade. If enough students don’t meet state minimum scores, it can mean the school loses state funding. You would think there could be a happy medium between the two approaches.

  2. What an eye-opener.

    I hate the No Child Left Behind. Months out of the school years are spent here in PA on stupid tests that don’t apply towards the grade, and the months they have left are crammed so full that my daughter, in 4th grade, rages on and on at home about ‘pressure’.

    It makes me want to cry. I never had it so bad when I was in school. Sure, we had the tests, but we didn’t spend months studying for them (they actually study for the tests the kids don’t get graded on). Why don’t we just hand our kids grant applications so they can apply for state funding that way?

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