NMPSP(E?) Film Festival, Day XL: The End-of-Course Printer Scene

Sometimes the news just fills out the Film Festival lineup itself, and, sometimes, we don’t need the clip because we’ve all seen it and been there.

We’re there again, fellow Albuquerque Public Schools employees:  We’re living/working in a direct “Office Space” (1999) experience of holographic (with “Sense-a-Round”) realism.

Okay, we’ve all seen the film and know “The Printer Scene.”  Well, take that scene, put APS Superintendent Brad Winder in the role of Lumbergh (yeah, the guy in the suspenders) and you’ve got today’s story from the Albuquerque Journal on whether or not we in APS will be giving End-of-Course (EOC) Exams in the next week or two or three.

Here’s the Lumbergh/Winter money quote:

But interim Superintendent Brad Winter said Tuesday evening that the district is still trying to get the tests printed for all students.  He acknowledged that a memo went out this week to the staff indicating that the EOC exams would not be given to most students. But on Tuesday he called the memo premature, and said, “We are doing everything we can. We are not sure we are going to get it done, but we think we will be able to do it.”

Thanks Lumbergh/Winter!  Now that I think about it, Superintendent Winter matches Lumbergh eerily, right down to his tendency for a certain slickness in his sartorial choices.

For those not involved and uninformed on what’s going on here, here’s the crux of the biscuit:  New Mexico Public Education Department has ratcheted up the number of EOCs as a dizzying pace the last few years.  The idea behind them is that teachers suck, that teacher-developed Final Exams suck and that PED just has to use outside tests to replace this universal suckiness.

There…I think that pretty much sums it up, and in very professional language/jargon as well.

The only hang-up with this line of thinking is that while it’s perhaps arguable that some teachers “suck” and ill-prepare students for course materials, it is 100% categorically true that PED “sucks” at its job of providing information on..uh…anything.  EOCs included.  As the number of demanded tests has risen, teachers around the state have frequently consulted a webpage (Note:  The Internet is not a strong suit of the NMPED) to gain information on exactly what sort of questions might be on these brand-new EOCs.  Final versions of these “blueprints” on just what the heck might be on these tests still haven’t been posted for ALL new tests for school year 2014-2015.

But we’re supposed to give the damn tests anyway.

As the Journal story points out, PED has followed up the Blueprint ineptitude by not creating and distributing tests to schools/districts in anything approaching anyone’s possible interpretation of the phrase “timely manner.”

But we’re supposed to give the damn tests anyway.

It’s like this with EVERYTHING from PED, including teacher evaluations, which are compiled so ineptly that PED won’t even let anybody see/understand exactly how the final evaluation number/level is determined.

But we’re getting the damn evaluation anyway.

This would be as funny as “Office Space,” and really it is funnier than “Office Space” (which could, let’s face it, have used better sub-plots), if only we teachers and our schools didn’t look like the schmuck here.  PED’s Olympic level of unprofessionalism paints teachers and schools with a “suck” brush that should be solely stroked and swathed on the New Mexico Public Education Department itself.

But we also have Lumbergh/Winter.  Thanks Brad…thanks for enabling this ineptitude and pushing all this work on us.  Thanks.



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