27 April 2005

Still WASL'ing...but now it's our turn

The first part of the Science WASL was given today. Two other teachers and I went up to the gym (where the testing is being done) at the beginning of the day to greet kids and hand out some pencil sharpeners. We probably didn't get to every kid, but we tried to let them know we wished them well and had confidence in their abilities. Considering that this was the 7th day in a row of testing, they needed the affirmations. My poor little sophs were so downtrodden looking by yesterday afternoon. I took them out in the sun and had them do their lab in the fresh air.

Tomorrow is the last day of testing (finally)---apart from any make-up tests that need to be completed. I wish the school had something nice planned for the kids as a reward. Even just an ice cream bar to hand them on their way out of the test.

Next will come the waiting until August, when scores are finally released. I should mention that my department has had an ambitious goal all year. We want to raise science scores by 11% points---for a total passing rate of 50%. (Don't faint---we actually do much better than a lot of schools across the state.) Other departments in the building looked at 4 or 5%. Maybe that's more realistic, but we believe the standards are reasonable. We idenitified kids to target. We've done our best to support student learning throughout the year.

As for me? My next hurdle with students is the AP Exam, now only 8 school days away. Yikes. I'll be glad when it's someone else's turn in the barrel as far as "test season" goes.

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