Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Various items

0.) I have not reflected, in public, at all about my job change or my shift to a younger grade.  I'm still surviving some parts of it, so I haven't really wanted to bare my soul too much.

1.) My principal sent us a PDF from the state talking about Michigan's new state exam.  Among other things, it's going to take pretty much all of the school year after Tax Day.  More importantly, though, they decided to use the bulk of their test questions from Smarter Balanced.  This is noteworthy because:
a.) The state Legislature adopted the Smarter Balanced assessment, until
b.) a bunch of anti-school activists (who don't care what the standards are, they don't like them) made it look like a federal power grab, which caused
c.) every Republican-run state legislature in the country take a "second look" at the standards.  In Michigan that meant
d.) delaying implementation of Smarter Balanced by a year,
i.)leaving schools and teachers who have been gearing up for this change for three years in the lurch,
ii.) with no information about how schools were going to be evaluated during the 2014-15 school year, 
iii.) while the State Board of Education solicited bids from competitors,
iv.) which we're all pretty certain is going to result in Michigan implementing the Smarter Balanced test.
So, in order to avoid implementing the Smarter Balanced test, the state has made an ad-hoc test which is almost entirely made up of the Smarter Balanced test.  Bravos, muchachos.  Muy bien hecho.

2.) On a lighter note, the moreTPRS listserv pointed me in the direction of "A Child's Guide to Language," a documentary about how kids learn languages.  It can be found in chapters on Youtube here.  This could be something I show to parents on Parent Teacher night.

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