April 13, 2008


For any of you reading this blog if you are a teacher you totally understand the lingo. NCLB....it's pronounced NickelB, but it stands for "No Child Left Behind." The overall meaning of this acronym makes a lot of sense, but ever since it has been implemented in schools it has just caused headache and turmoil for teachers and children.
This week my children are taking the OCCT test. That's another acronym (teacher's love these for some reason) and it stands for Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test. In Texas they have the TAKS test (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills). Anyways, I have 76 nine year olds that are responsible for taking a Math and Reading Test that will average about 50 questions a piece and they are supposed to pass this test, because according to NCLB we will not "leave a child behind." The whole point of this stupid law is that every child will be performing at or above grade level. Sounds great, but it's not realistic. How can you expect every child to be performing at or above grade level when you almost always have children transferring in from somewhere else that were reading 1,2 maybe 3 grades below their current grade level. I am a teacher... I teach because I LOVE teaching, but believe it or not, I can NOT perform miracles. Sure... you can help raise the student's reading level, but you have to be realistic...if they came in the beginning of the year reading at a Pre-Primer (that's below kindergarten) level, why on earth would you ever expect them to be able to take a reading test (that is on the 3rd grade level) and read and comprehend it?
I became a teacher because I had fun in school. I love reading novels with my kids and having literature circles discussing why we think the main character decided to do this instead of that. I love how whenever I read Stone Fox with my class (we read this during winter) I open up all my windows and the children have to bring mittens, hats and scarves, drink hot chocolate and it even "snows." This are fun teacher moments...NCLB is NOT a fun teacher moment. There is so much pressure put on the teacher but also on the kids. I don't think it is fair that a 9 year old should be worried about whether or not they are going to pass a state test. So... this week my children are state testing, and I would appreciate it if you would say a little prayer for them before you go to bed. Hopefully during this next election NCLB will die...and I would so rejoice. I will leave you with some examples as to what they have to know on the test and these are just the literary element questions...think about the comprehension questions!
1. Swirl, Swing and Sway are examples of what?
a. onomatopoeia
b. simile
c. alliteration
d. synonym

2. If you wanted to know how many pages in your science book talk about the sun where would you look?
a. glossary
b. table of contents
c. index
d. chapter headings

3. Her smile is as bright as the sun is an example of what?
a. metaphor
b. alliteration
c. simile
d. onomatopoeia

4. Where would I look if I wanted to find a word that means the same as jump?
a. dictionary
b. encyclopedia
c. thesaurus
d. almanac

Ok.. so the correct answers were all "C", but seriously...needing to know this as a
3rd grader? Give me a break NCLB.