I spoke to a group of teachers in Los Angeles the other night, educators in LAUSD, and asked a very simple question: How many people in this room believe the bubble tests give an accurate portrayal of your professionalism? Not a person in the room raised their hand.
And the thing is, if you know teachers, you know that they will, for better or worse, tell it like it is. This is not Congress voting whether or not to give themselves a raise where you’ll get universal agreement because self-interest rules the roost. Teachers, if they believe in something, will say so… even if it hurts the feelings of other teachers in the room.
That’s because, IMHO, the kids, to most educators, are more important than the feelings of their peers.
But when nary a hand gets raised in a room that big and no one is willing to say, “You know what… I don’t love the bubble tests but at least I do think they are 1) well-written 2) on point 3) fair 4) reasonable in their scope and weight and 5) equitable so, while I have my small gripes, by-the-by I do think they reflect a truism about my own craft as a teacher and those that don’t well… I just think they are simply hiding something.”
I don’t know any teacher that believes this point of view. And I know scores who do not.
Are we hiding something? I mean the politicians have painted educators as if we have this dark, deep skeleton in the closet that we will, at all costs, defend from public view. Is that really the case? And then, by putting teachers in this role, they get to put on the cape and swoop in like a superhero to save the day for kids and parents.
ETS isn’t a multi-billion dollar “non-profit” corporation with their money-vaccuming tentacles poised to stretch into every American classroom at a greater pace than ever before; they are a white knight saving taxpayers from the rogues and scoundrels who are milking the government for entitlements and benefits while harming the needs of our kids.
Are teachers hiding something and do the bubble tests excavate our dark, dirty, deeply-closeted secrets?
I ask because year after year we are seeing our schools morph more and more into bubble test test prep factories… and is this not part of the sentiment driving that ship?