Sunday, March 31, 2013

April is the Cruelest Month

Tomorrow is the first day of April. In T. S. Eliot's poem, The Wasteland, he declares "April is the cruelest month". In public education, no month is a wasteland, except for April. 

In April, dynamic instruction grinds to halt and workbooks are hauled out that teach to the tests. Libraries close their doors to administer tests. Academically challenged students, who were fully included into regular classrooms, are removed to be tested. A pall lingers in the hallways, resignation settles over the classrooms, and we are fully immersed in "State Testing" mode.

My students really get it. They see the futility. The strugglers know the test pigeon-holes them. The average and above average students know they are simply losing time, wasting minutes and hours reviewing and waiting...