Stop hurting students and punishing good teachers!
This petition had 2,179 supporters
Students and teachers are stressed and overwhelmed by the incredible amount of testing in order to keep up with state and district mandates. The amount of instructional time lost is impacting student learning and making the companies who create the tests huge profits. A few weeks ago I was sent an email with an ACT blueprint of an end of the course exam for US History. I was told that my students had to take it by April 9th even though students just finished taking a week of Ohio Graduation Tests on March 17th, and have to take NWEA tests when we return from spring break the week of 4/21.
It is absurd that students would take an end of the course exam by April 9th, especially when we have already lost a lot of instructional time for inclement weather days and the end of the course isn't until May 30th. As I examined the blue print for the test, I discovered that half of the questions the test was going to be asking, the state and district do not tell me to teach, and another 25% of the test asks questions about events that I have not taught yet because we have another seven weeks of school left during which I will be teaching those topics.
Next, I learned that the results of this test are going to comprise 35% of my composite evaluation for the school year. Although 50% of my evaluation is based on my principal's observations, the other 15% is based on students' Ohio Graduation Test scores on the social studies portion. That test is on 9th and 10th grade curriculum and I only teach these students during their tenth grade year. Plus, the test is given in March even though the questions on the test cover topics that aren't supposed to be taught until April and May according to state and district guidelines. In the end, 42.5% of my evaluation that states whether or not I am a skilled or accomplished teacher is based on data that has absolutely nothing to do with what the district and state tell me to teach to tenth grade American History students. How does this help students or improve teaching?
I have been teaching 16 years and have earned numerous certifications, awards, and honors. I also mentor new and struggling teachers, and I hold an Ohio Teacher Evaluation System certification, so I am qualified to evaluate other educators. I work long hours at school and home, and have extremely brief breaks because I am usually working even when school is not in session. I don't have a problem being evaluated on content that I am supposed to teach, but to be categorized as an ineffective or developing teacher because of a flawed system and because tests purchased from a vendor have nothing to do with what I was told to teach is insulting, frustrating, and unjust. It is necessary to take a stand now for the sake of our students and hard working teachers.
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