Back to school. A week of workshops with a sprinkle of prep time. Awesome.
We began yesterday with the typical stuff. Emergency procedures. Classroom discipline plans. Locker checkout instructions. Handbook review. Inspirational youtube videos like this one.
Most of us are excited. High hopes for implementing new lessons for a fresh batch of kids. We are re-energized and refreshed.
And so here were are, excited to see our colleagues and make this our best teaching year ever. And then administration takes a metaphoric lead pipe and bashes us over the head with it. MCA scores. Below target overall and in pretty much every subgroup you could think of. Growth of black and Hispanic students lagging too far behind their white and Asian peers.
We even drilled down. We looked at z-scores and graduation rates. We looked at the trends over the past five years. We had a long in-depth conversation about how our state calculates all of the measures, including AYP.
A day and a half in, we have spent a good three or four solid hours talking about these things. About how bad we sucked last year. What are we going to do about it?
The stupidest, most offensive part about this whole thing is that the scores dropped statewide by about the same amount as they did for our school. Why did they drop statewide? Are kids across Minnesota 9% dumber? Obviously not. No one knows why this happened, even the state it seems. We’re getting bashed in the head over a bunch of numbers that are meaningless. This is the most idiotic, asinine, disgusting thing I have ever encountered. It happens every year.
Oh, and here’s the kicker. None of these numbers are going to change what we do. I know there’s an achievement gap and I know we need to take steps to address it. I don’t need a warehouse of numbers to tell me that.
Stop wasting my time.