Sassy Jacksun, Author & Multi-Media Artist
Attention all parents, teachers, and students: Thanks to Ohio's AMAZING choice to comply with the CCSS standards, fully, all students in public schools will have to take the new, standardized P.A.R.C.C. test. Oh joy!
First, professionally, I believe this test is...is...well, it just is something. Yep, I have no words to describe this torture, oh wait, I mean test. Sincerely. Compared to all of the other "standardized tests" created thus far, this one takes the cake!
This "assessment" will not assess our students, properly. It will only tell us how well a small, subset of students, who are good at taking standardized tests, can take another standardized test. The rest of the students--well, it will tell the school, the parents, and the students, a whole bunch of nothing. Oh, and the last thing this P.A.R.C.C. test will do, is make the ETS system a disgustingly large amount of money.
Will our schools see any of this money? Well, we will never know. And, if ETS (and whomever else is a part of the creation and implementation of this test) choose to be "transparent" about where the money goes later, we will never know the real truth. Sadly.
Second, as a parent, I will do everything in my power to protect my children from partaking in this test. Why? Well, first the length of the test is obnoxious.
The test is separated into two parts: the mid-year assessment and the "end of year" assessment, with possibility to add more to this test, later.
The mid-year part or the P.A.R.C.C. test for an eighth grader, otherwise known as the PAB portion of the P.A.R.C.C test, consists of the following:
1.) Language Arts (English): Four and half hours, yes hours, of short answer/paragraph answered questions for Language Arts. (Please, ask your individual teacher how many breaks will be allowed, during this portion of the test.) Oh, and if your child has any special needs or accommodations needed to take a test, they will only be allotted one school day, worth of hours.
2.) Math: First test, will be an hour and a half long. Then, the second portion will be an hour and twenty minutes long. Oh, and yes, they will have to use the "new math" to show their work and their answers to complete these questions, correctly.
Again, same note about break allowances and special needs. Please check with your child's teacher. (I think you will be shocked by the answer. And if you are not shocked by the answer, you are not being told the truth.)
3.) Science: This is the last portion of the short answer/paragraph part of the test, and it is an hour and fifteen minutes long.
This part of the test is just the mid-point or the PAB portion of the P.A.R.C.C. test. The end of the year portion of this test will be in April, all multiple choice, this time, but the same standards, apply.
Would love to hear what y'all think. (Please feel free to share this information.)
Extremely concerned educator, and even more concerned, mother
Did you know the phrase "said is dead" has become a commonly taught phrase in most primary schools?
Neither did I, until I saw the new requirements for CCSS, or otherwise known as Common Core State Standards. These so called "standards" are required to be taught to every student in the country.
Yes, the matter of CCSS being used in our classrooms has become very controversial among educators and among parents. Personally, I think CCSS looks good on paper, but still has no applicable way of being used in the classroom. The "powers that be" in the educational world seem to think that CCSS will be the magical fix for our public school system problems, in particular a "one size fits all" program that will fix the learning gaps among students, among schools. However, research, tons and tons of research has proven that there is, and never will be, a "one size fits all" when it comes to students learning in the classroom, but I digress.
The main focus for this entry is to discuss the word "said", and how it is being systematically deleted from our vocabulary. In fact, according to recent reports from Education Weekly, most primary school students are being taught that the word "said" is boring, that the word "said" should be replaced with alternative words, and that the word "said" should have adverbs added to it, if "said" needs to be used.
However, if you were to speak to any experienced author or any experienced creative-writing educator, they would tell you that "teaching these lessons about the word "said" is simply wrong. Teaching "said is dead" is contradictory, incorrect, and bad writing." Furthermore, if you were to ask an experienced publisher about teaching the phrase, "said is dead", they would say the same thing, "not using the word, 'said' at the end of a piece of dialogue, is a sign of an inexperienced author, a sign of a writer who does not know how to write."
But, what really blows my mind is that when students are taught, "said is dead," the students are being taught to "tell instead of show." To tell a reader what it think, what to see, what to feel when writing a creative piece is the exact opposite of what a good writer should do. A good writer should "show instead of tell". So, the simple phrase, "said is dead" could cause much confusion for our young students, especially when their next lesson is that they are to they are to "show instead of tell."
(Finally, in order to pass the third grade state test, these students are asked to memorize alternative words for said, and to add an adverb after the word "said" to make the sentence "more lively," but again, I digress.)
So, I now I ask you, my fellow writers, what do you think about "said is dead"?
Do you think it is a good lesson to teach young, budding writers?
Or, should these young minds be taught how to "show instead of tell" when it comes to writing a story with dialogue?