At the Well Once Too Often

All the inspirational words in the world, all the little test-taking tricks, all the crossed fingers, doesn’t help kids who are burned out.

My kids are burned out as they head into their biggest challenge of the testing window–the 6th grade state math test.  After a promising beginning, they’ve struggled through the rest of the year, with the law of diminishing returns taking hold as even the strongest of my math students have watched their scores slowly fall, or, in some cases, flat out crater as we’ve moved into the final weeks.  Tinkering, re-teaching, reassuring, remeasuring, have all been the focus of each day leading up to today, but regardless, I feel like I have 32 basket cases on my hands.

I can’t really blame a couple of my girls who tell me that they’d rather go to McKinley High School (the fictional school depicted in fantasy world of Glee), because they never see those kids ever attending to academic issues.  “True that”, I tell myself.  Maybe that series will eventually end by having the state of Ohio taking over the high school for failing to reach their AYP goals…but I digress.  I’ve got real kids with real testing issues right now, ones that can’t be helped by belting out middle aged show tunes on a school bus somewhere.

On Friday, they have to take our district’s 6th grade writing test.

Next week, they will take our district’s middle school Algebra readiness test.

The following week, they’ll take our district math benchmark.

After so much testing, I am left only with the hope that Ben Franklin wasn’t prophetic:

I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.

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