At what point do we look around and say, NO! This is not the world we want to live in. This is not ok. Your freedom to own a gun is not worth more than my child’s life.
This year, I have to subject my eighth-grade students to 6,600 minutes of district-mandated testing. That’s 110 hours. That’s the equivalent of 15 entire seven-hour school days. Eighth grade students in Hartford Public Schools are required to take 25 mandated district and state-wide assessments between late August and early June. Thirteen percent of the entire school year is dedicated to administering these “high stakes tests.”
In August, the nightmares start. Every teacher experiences the excitement, worry and sometimes dread as the first day of school approaches. It’s a combination of Christmas Eve and April 14. Like most teachers, I spent my summer carefully crafting lesson plans. I spent weeks reading YA books and worked diligently on creating a week’s worth of team building activities to start the year with a positive classroom environment. Then, at the second day of professional development (before the students even arrived), I was handed the eight-page district assessment calendar.