Saturday, August 8, 2015

My Permanent Record

This will absolutely not shock anyone who knows me well, but I have not always been the stellar advocate for education you know today. Life is a process. 

Maturity and insight do not often dwell in the hearts of 17 year-olds. Which goes a long way to explaining how I found myself leaving a Social Distortion concert about 7 hours before I sat for the SAT. The concession I made to testing was that we did not engage in teen dining at Denny's on the way home. I needed my sleep. Even more shocking may be the insight that I didn't study. For the SAT or my classes. I had good grades and that was enough - I had a life. Someone had to keep track of the happenings on General Hospital.

Fret not, parents of my potential students, I matured. That's what kids do after all. Education became the path to my goals. And I pursued it and my career experiences with gusto. All these experiences are part of what I bring to class with me daily. My connections to curriculum and students stem from my experiences. But the legislature of Florida, in its lack of wisdom, has decided that I should be judged worthy based on my SAT score.

Yes, you read correctly - MY SAT SCORE. From 1990. Of course my evaluation - a composite of my teaching evaluation and my students' test scores (from a newly developed and unproven test) - must be "highly effective" as well, a bland issue compared to this new assault on teachers. 

The idea that a college entrance test should be used as a bar for my bonus 25 years later is so ludicrous it defies explanation. If only I had a Delorian and a flux capacitor, I could tell my past self..."high school never ends."

Let's not even discuss how drastically this has effected already tight budgets in each district... You can read more about the insanity here or here.