To many students, the holiday break of 2009 is long gone. But I have a student who will never forget it. That’s because his uncle strangled his aunt to death — and then shot himself in the head in a murder suicide — with his nephew, my ninth grader, in the next room.
And yes, my student heard the whole thing.
Of course I am setting my goal to do all the humanistic work I can to make sure this kid, well… doesn’t go off the deep end. But how his story will play out is a great unknown right now.
And yet, how will my work with him be measured this year? By the standardized test scores he delivers on the bubble tests we administer to probe his aptitudes and capacities.
Really, that’s it. What are his test scores?
Fair to him? Naw.
Fair to judge me as a teacher by his scores? Naw. And yet, that’s how the district, the county and the state are going to measure my professionalism this year.
Next time you see low test scores and think stinky teachers are to blame for low performance, well… perhaps there’s a human being behind each of those data-driven numbers we offer to the bean counters.
Jobs are gonna be slashed next year as a result of our NCLB probation status. But are the measurements really apples to apples?
A student witness to murder-suicide in the age of NCLB… no excuses, just results.