Alrighty then! Now that we are officially done with both the math and reading portions of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, we can finally move on to... the Iowa Test of Basic Skills?!? What the --?!
Yes, the consensus seems to be that no one is happy unless these kids are taking some sort of test. TAKS test, ITBS, benchmark tests, urine tests... When will the madness stop???
Apparently, the madness will stop on approximately May 24 (the last day of the school year). Until then, we follow the No Child Left Behind or Untested Ad Nausea policy. So we have one week to get the kids ready for the ITBS. Of course, that's not counting Wednesday or Friday, when we'll be off-campus on field trips. And it might not even be next Monday, May 1, because according to rumor, there will be absolutely no Hispanic kids in school that day. Uno de Mayo might just be a very quiet day at the school.
In addition to having very little time to prepare, we have to throw the kids brains into total reverse gear to prepare for this new test. On the TAKS test, the kids are able to write in their test booklets, they bubble their answers in on their test booklets, and they have as much time as they need to finish the test -- we give them all day. So we have spent all year long training them to take their time, show their work, and go back and check all of their answers carefully. Conversely, the ITBS is a timed test, so if the kids DO take their time and show all of their work, they will not finish the test. In addition, the kids are not allowed to write in their test booklets, so they must use a separate piece of scratch paper in order to do any sort of computations. Oh, and after they've read the problem off of one page, and done the math on a separate page, they have to fill in a bubble on yet a THIRD piece of paper!
Good luck kids, wake me when it's over.