March, Again, Comes In Like a Standardized Test

It’s the month of March, everybody! And that can mean only one thing. It’s “Opening Day”! No, not for baseball, but for the Spring New Mexico Standardized Testing Season. Play ball!

I know, there’s already been off-season testing, such as NAEP and ACCESS (not to mention Fall retakes of PARCC and such), but yesterday I wander in to my Special Education Head Teacher’s office and see…


Now that’s a standardized test from back in the day when tests were tests, and the “directions for administering” included awful scripts with “fill in the circle, heavy and dark.” Oh yes, those were the days, yet they continue to be “the days,” because dammit, Common Core, i.e., PARCC, doesn’t have a Science test, and by GAWD, we gotta have a test for EVERYTHING!

How will we know that children is learning a subject if we don’t have an antiquated, confusingly non-Common Core standardized test for it. High School kids can’t even “really” graduate if they don’t pass their version of SBA Science, although to keep graduation numbers up, the word “really” doesn’t quite mean what you think it does in this usage.

To celebrate another testing season, I suggest all school’s festoon their buildings with bunting, at least around the Science Building, and have the marching band play as the test booklets are distributed. It’s Opening Day, people!

For those who haven’t followed “Spring Training” of testing and haven’t already committed this year’s schedule to memory, here it is in not-so-handy, not quite billfold-ready form:


We teachers, of course, have “season tickets” for testing, as do the students, but for those watching at home, note the exciting End-of-Course (EOC) schedule those “two consecutive weeks in the last three weeks of semester.” Nothing says the month of May like apple pie, hot dogs, and another standardized test, this one consisting of Trivial Pursuit-type multiple choices with misleading questions and plenty of typos!

Happy March, everybody! Enjoy the kick-off, Science teachers!

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