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Test score WOES
Old 05-19-2012, 03:04 AM
 
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Ok....first and foremost I pride myself on being able to teach....it is my profession. I know I do it well. I have previous years' scores to prove it. That said....I SUCK! My students state test scores SUCKED and I am feeling SOOOO MISERABLE!!!! Last year they had a teacher who knew she was retiring so she rarely taught the subject.....MY SUBJECT..... she was SUPPOSED to teach which resulted in my having to pull my students back up to where they needed to be and then raise them up ever so much higher. Well....needless to say I taught my derrier off! I did EVERYTHING my district required and did nothing MY WAY like I have always done in the past and look what I get!!!!

Now granted a VAST MAJORITY of my students did score well.....WELL ABOVE what I expected them to do so that in itself is something worth being excited about and proud of! But when comparing apples to oranges as my state/district does....this year's score falls quite short of what my last year's score was so what does that do to me???? Makes me look like I have failed!

Y'all how do I stop beating myself up about this? All I want to do is cry and crawl under a rock!!!


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Old 05-19-2012, 03:27 AM
 
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Quote:
I did EVERYTHING my district required and did nothing MY WAY like I have always done in the past and look what I get!!!!
I think this is exactly what you need to go say to your principal. Because, it does not sound to like you failed. Last year's teacher failed. The principal who let her get away with that failed. The administration who required you to jump through hoops and teach a program rather than be a professional and teach your kids in the way that you know is best for them failed. You did not, and neither did your kids.
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Let go
Old 05-19-2012, 06:44 AM
 
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You are beating yourself up, but there are many factors that are not in your control.

#1. Many of your students came in with gaps from last year, as some will every year. You did your best to fill them as you will in the coming years. Look for growth instead high scores/passing scores.

#2 Not all students care about the test like teachers and administrators do. We can do everything that we think possible to help them, but we can't take the test for them. We don't know what they are coming in with on testing day. Emotional stress, feeling sick, test anxiety, apathy, anger, etc. We can only give them little pep talks and wish them well before testing. Is that going to change anything for some of them? No. I've had kids in the past who have done very well on practice, only to fail or do poorly on the state test. I've also had kids bomb practice and ace the test. You can only prepare them as best you can, try to help them think positively, but in the end it is up to them.


Some examples of my own:
  • A girl who had done well (80's and above) on practice quizzes and tests, then failed the state test miserably. When I asked her what happened, she said she had been in verbal fight with friends over a guy. She told the principal about it when it happened, but was still upset and said she didn't concentrate on the test at all and basically filled in the bubbles by guessing. I knew nothing about it on test day, because she took just as long as everyone else and seemed fine. Even if I did know, all I really could have done is tell her to try and put it out of her mind while she is taking the test, and who knows how effective that would have been. After I found out, I advised her what she could do in the future. I asked her if the guy really even mattered anymore and she said "No." I told her that, at her age, a guy that matters one week, won't the next, and is probably not worth throwing a test for. She agreed - so it was a good life lesson.
  • I had two students in alternative placement for a good part of the 2nd semester (test review) . I sent everything I had to the teacher, including the state practice booklet. When the students were released for the test, both had their cocky attitudes on test day. I got their work packets back a few days after the test, untouched. I thought, great, if they fail , it's on me, even though I wasn't there to prepare them. It was.
  • I had a student test in a small group setting. He did great the first day on math, but when he was done the testing monitor allowed him to play on computers. The second day (my test) the monitor told me he finished in about half an hour ( enough time to bubble in the answer key) so he could play on computers again. Grrr. In our state, we aren't allowed to say anything to students about what they choose to do during testing. If they rush through, there's nothing we can say. The kid made up his mind that computer games were more important than his test. I had a huge issue with the testing monitor for allowing computers in the first place and I told the principal about it because I'm the one responsible for the scores. The monitor was only supposed to allow them to read or rest after testing. That was made clear to everyone by our principal the next year.
#3 Don't get sucked into the pressure from district. The test does not define you, your school year, or your students. It only helps to define a district. For your unusual year, there were other teachers who had a great year (some for the first time) so it balances out. We can learn from each year and make adjustments. But the next year, we will have a completely different mix of kids and a whole new set of circumstances. Apples and oranges.

#4 If you had a new state test this year, you shouldn't even be thinking about low test scores. The state hasn't worked out the kinks on the exam yet. Why worry about an untried test that doesn't count anyway and most likely you didn't have the resources for. The state usually ends up throwing out a lot of questions because they were badly worded, etc. and scores go up.


You did what you could, now it's time to let go and move on. Forget about it. You can enjoy the rest of your school year without the constraints of the test on your lesson plans.

Last edited by SOTRainbow; 05-19-2012 at 07:55 AM..
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Old 05-19-2012, 07:14 AM
 
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You don't suck! Your students made gains! Imagine where they would be without your support/dedication/interventions!

You were given a tough group to begin with, you had your work cut out for you.

State testing/data pisses me off because its a bunch of numbers. Its so black and white. It does not mean you didn't do a great job. You should just ackowledge you did your best and you don't need to feel guilty.

If you are called into question, you have a very reasonable explanation to go with the danged scores.

You sound like you are an awesome teacher!!!!!
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I feel your Pain
Old 05-19-2012, 08:10 AM
 
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We got blasted because our math scores dropped dramatically. We went from 99% proficient to 19%. No one seemed to care that it was because they changed the state cut score for what proficient was.

When they asked why we though our scores were low we pointe out they put 35 kids in our room the year before (up for 25ish), gave us supplies for 30, and took our paras out of the room the response was "we see your point, but we can't change those things, so now what are you going to do better next year" WHAT!?!?


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Thanks y'all!
Old 05-19-2012, 08:28 AM
 
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After readng all your responses I decided to just let it go....I can't change it...it is what it is and if anything I'll be the example of the teacher who supposedly has it all together, followed mandates, and proved that mandates do nothing for our students.

------------> the response was "we see your point, but we can't change those things, so now what are you going to do better next year" WHAT!?!? <-----------

I was told the above yesterday and just swallowed really hard. WTF!?! is all I could think!!!! Hmmm....I guess I'll do my own thing better when they are not looking????

I think this is just the beginning y'all. I'm just praying that after the value added "formula" is used it will not look that bad! Just keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I will all of you and the rest of our teaching profession!
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:51 AM
 
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So sad. Here in FL our pay will be tied to these scores.......ridiculous.
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