Tuesday may have been April Fool’s Day in your world, but I’m here to tell you that I was in a NYC middle school all day and not a prank was to be seen.
That’s because Tuesday in New York was the day millions of schoolkids, and teachers, had alternately dreaded and looked forward to: The first day of the state English test, the beginning of three straight days of seeing whether students had learned the new Common Core curriculum.
The feeling Tuesday was different, for sure; it was a school I had been at a bunch of times this year, but Tuesday felt a little strange. There was anxiety in the air, both from the students, who obviously wanted and needed to do well, and from the teachers, since New York, like many states, has started using kids’ scores as an evaluation method of their teachers.
Now … I’m not going to get into a whole screed about the Common Core, for or against, because quite frankly this is a public blog and I want to keep my position, temporary though it is as a sub.
I do think, contrary to many, that the Common Core Standards are needed and are a good idea, but they’ve been implemented hastily and teachers haven’t been given the time nor the materials they need to prepare student for them.
But anyway, enough about the test itself. My sympathies Tuesday were with the students. I don’t remember stressing out this much about tests when I was a kid; to see some of these middle schoolers Tuesday, you would’ve thought their life depended on the outcome.
I’m sure they all did fine. But 12 year olds shouldn’t be getting ulcers, you know?
**Finally today, this was hilarious. ESPN World Cup soccer announcer Ian Darke calls the “play by play” of a blind date. I laughed hard.