“Those meddling kids!” — (Hanna Skandera, in bed sheet as “ghost” in episode entitled “Shaggy Breaks Down a Parking Lot Gate”)
As we wind down the prologue to the tragicomedy known as “New Mexico Testing 2015: Waiting For PARCC,” things are crazy and there seem to be no Scooby Snacks anywhere. I could go on and on, but I understand some of you might be following events on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and don’t need some 2004-era blog to know which way the NM standardized testing wind is blowing.
So I’ll make it short and offer up a Scooby Snack to #NMPED Secretary @HannaSkandera all the way from Maine. Let’s call it a maple-flavored Scooby Snack. What is it? It’s a compromise to extricate yourself, Ms. Skandera, from the house arrest position you’re in both literally and politically by taking such a hard line with what #PARCC means for New Mexico students, teachers and schools. Let’s just get to the news story from the Portland Press Journal in snowy Maine (I want to simply copy/paste the entire article, but that’s not cool…go read the damn thing yourself!)
The Maine Department of Education will suspend the A-F school grading system this year because students are taking a new assessment test and the state will not have enough data to measure their progress, education officials said Monday. …
The next round of report cards will be issued in the fall of 2016, after students have taken the new Smarter Balanced tests for two years, acting Education Commissioner Tom Desjardin said in a memo to school officials. …
School officials say the move to suspend the grades for a year makes sense. “The state early on acknowledged that it would be impossible to compare the results” of the two tests, said Lewiston Superintendent Bill Webster. “They weren’t even going to try.”
Any questions on your “exit strategy” for NM’s debacle this year, Mr. Skandera? Enough “template” for a compromise here? My humble suggestion to you is to basically reprint Maine’s press release, replace “Smarter Balanced” with “PARCC” (Maine is doing the other “national” test), get on a balcony overlooking the protesting meddling students and proclaim exactly what Maine just announced to its frost-bitten citizenry.
Is the Maine delay a perfect solution? No. Is it infinitely better than what New Mexico looks to be getting this year? Absolutely.
You can do it, Ms. Skandera. I know it seems like you’re backing down, losing face and giving in to those meddling kids (and their teacher union dog, too!). But you’re not. You still get your tests and the whole scheduling fiasco and the data to go into next year hammering and yammering just as you’ve always done. Delay is the right thing to do, Ms. Skandera, and you know it.