Stupid decisions abound in education.... no debate there. We try something new, it works, it doesn't work, whatever.. we move on. The next 'great' idea, we hop on board that train and on to the next station we journey.
But once in a while, an idea so stupid comes along that I am just speechless that we try it.
This week our high school juniors will take the ACT/MME tests Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Of course, those scores are important for them as they apply to colleges, and they are important to us as a school district because funding and teacher evaluations are now so closely linked to test scores. Wwwwoooohhhhooooo....
SO NOW, someone has decided we will disrupt the ENTIRE middle school to allow the test takes to test in the middle school instead of on 3rd floor of the high school as has been done in the past. (forget that we don't afford the same concern for any other level of test takers in our district... ) So for the upcoming 3 days, middle school teachers will be shuffled to various rooms in the high school, scattered from 1st to 2nd to 3rd floor. We will haul students and their locker contents over there last hour today. Oh wait, there aren't enough lockers to accomodate all of them so some of their stuff will be stored in a classroom. And for the next 3 days, students will mingle with high schoolers between classes, trying to remember their new scheduled class locations. Teachers will try to haul everything we need to our new classrooms, some of which are being shared by staff with staggering schedules, trying to make sure we have everything we need to help our students be successful these next 3 days.
Let's not forget that middle schoolers by nature like routine, fairness, things that make sense and are logical. Let's not forget that we have many kiddos with ADD, ADHD, OCD, and other anxiety issues. Let's not forget that even a 'normal' middle schooler has days they forget which locker is theirs, or who their 3rd hour teacher is.
Today will be spent touring the high school, learning where rooms are, moving their stuff to their new locker, which they may or may not get, which they will be sharing with another student... trying to cram books, winter coats and boots, all into a locker too small for one, much less for two. The next 3 days will be chaos with us and the high school on different lunch schedules, tramping back and forth annoying each other. Many teachers are abandoning routine lessons in favor of movies or other "keep them busy" activities. Then we will move back. A week of instruction lost for 6th, 7th and 8th graders.
I hope for the juniors it is a great experience. Test scores will be higher than ever before and college scholarship offers will flood the local post office. In the meantime, these poor middle schoolers are stressed beyond stress. And the teachers aren't much better....