Spring Break Is Nearly Over

@DWDavis (10773)
Pikeville, North Carolina
April 1, 2016 7:13am CST
Today is the last day of Spring Break for my school district. Starting Monday it is a straight shot through to Memorial Day before we have any time off. Monday also marks the beginning of the last grading period and the start of intense test preparation for the reading and math teachers. Due to the high pressure put on teachers and principals for test results, most of the fourth quarter is devoid of instruction in favor of drilling the students on how best to approach answering multiple choice questions. In our state these end of grade tests were originally intended to determine if the student had learned enough to be ready to go on to the next grade, and if the student failed, he or she would not get promoted. There are no longer any consequences to the students for doing poorly on these tests, and the students have figured that out, but for principals and teachers poor student performance can mean losing our jobs. Is it fair that teachers and principals are assessed by how well students do on an exam they have no stake in and that has no impact on a student's grade or promotion?
10 people like this
10 responses
• United States
1 Apr 16
Hmm that does not seem fair at all DW. I had not realized this either. It is to me not applicable at all..I mean somewhat but not all.
3 people like this
@DWDavis (10773)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
1 Apr 16
When I started teaching, the students were accountable for their performance on the EOGs. In the last 10-12 years things have completely turned around and now the students are not held accountable at all and the onus is completely on the teachers.
2 people like this
• United States
1 Apr 16
@DWDavis Crazy DW..really it is ridiculous I think.
2 people like this
• United States
1 Apr 16
Some schools here were on break last week, some this coming week. I wonder why they don't all take the same time?
2 people like this
@DWDavis (10773)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
1 Apr 16
I think the breaks are at different times because some schools still take a break at Easter while others do it at the end of third quarter. The end of third quarter can differ depending on when they started school. This year, Easter and the end of our third quarter happened to coincide.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Apr 16
@DWDavis When we moved south it was so weird that kids started school in early August.
2 people like this
@DWDavis (10773)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
1 Apr 16
@AbbyGreenhill I was very happy a few years ago when the state moved the school start date back to the end of August. They'd originally moved it to a date so early in the month so that the semester would end at the start of Christmas Break to accommodate the high schools on the four by four schedule. Because so much of our state income is tourist driven, this put a lot of businesses that rely on high school students during the summer vacation season in a bind and eventually that lobby got the dates changed back to the end of August.
1 person likes this
@Juliaacv (29679)
• Canada
1 Apr 16
Our grade and high schools had the week of March 14th off, you enjoy a later break. We have to go until May for a long weekend too, its a long stretch.
2 people like this
@DWDavis (10773)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
1 Apr 16
The good news is that each day now brings us closer to Summer Break and then I get to be a full time writer for a couple months.
2 people like this
@Lucky15 (33416)
• Philippines
1 Apr 16
with the students performance, it is a reflection of the teachers as they say, but not always.
2 people like this
@DWDavis (10773)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
1 Apr 16
To a degree it is. But a growing number of students have taken to guessing at the answers rather than trying to work them out or go back into the reading passage to find them because they know the test doesn't affect them academically. It doesn't show up on their report card and cannot be used in making retention decisions.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Apr 16
It seems that this is not only not fair but very counter productive for the student!
2 people like this
@Susan2015 (20437)
• United States
1 Apr 16
I must be out of the loop. Didn't know it was break time already.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (121498)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 Apr 16
I don't think this sounds at all fair but I guess there isn't a lot you can do about it.
1 person likes this
@DWDavis (10773)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
6 Apr 16
No, there isn't much we teachers can do except hope the kids care enough about us to want to make us look like we did a good job.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (121498)
• Bunbury, Australia
6 Apr 16
@DWDavis I hope there are no teachers that the kids really have it in for. They could easily be the ruin of a career.
1 person likes this
@DWDavis (10773)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
7 Apr 16
@JudyEv I don't think there are any teachers whom the kids dislike that much. While they may complain among themselves about this teacher or that, woe until the kid from another class who says anything bad about their teacher. They are very protective of us if they are on our team.
1 person likes this
@Tampa_girl7 (25401)
• United States
1 Apr 16
Hopefully your summer break comes soon for you.
1 person likes this
@DWDavis (10773)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
1 Apr 16
June 10th. Not that I've checked or anything.
@Corbin5 (103333)
• United States
1 Apr 16
Our district hired a professor from Northwestern University to develop a program to teach students how to garner the highest scores on those tests. I am sure his services cost a bundle, and I am also sure this professor was some administrator's buddy. Weeks and weeks were spent teaching those test-taking tactics. I can see that holding teachers and principals accountable would encourage quite a few unscrupulous teachers to cheat by assisting students with answering questions correctly. A nod of the head to indicate a "yes" or "no" would probably be one way to assist. My niece, who teaches in Florida, says that she knows of a few teachers who are assisting students with answers on those tests. Glad I retired before a teacher's job could be in jeopardy if students do not perform well on state tests.
1 person likes this
@DWDavis (10773)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
1 Apr 16
I believe several teachers in Georgia or South Carolina were fired because of cheating on end of grade tests a year or two ago.
@teamfreak16 (40936)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
1 Apr 16
Not fair at all.
1 person likes this