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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Too much free time in class in May in Texas schools? A few ideas from a parent point of view

     For the most part,  the Texas STAAR test is over by the end of April.  As a consultant, but more often as a parent listening to my own kids at home, I have discovered that there is quite a bit of free time in Texas classrooms during the month of May. 
     Maybe if we move the testing date to the last week of school, May can be more productive in terms of learning that is taking place and the percentages of students passing will go up.  I'm not talking about projects or special activities here....or things that teachers can cover that there is no time to go over during the year.  It's more the classrooms that suddenly transform into movie theatres  for an entire month that concern me.  If the movies are educational or tied directly to something learned then that would be acceptable, but often that is not the case.
    If later testing is not the answer, perhaps the last month can be used for preparing the students for the rigorous content that students need to learn in the next grade level.  Several schools have told me that during the last month of school their 5th grade teachers actually go and teach 4th,  4th grade teachers can work with 3rd, etc......
    Plan C would be just not have school during this month so that we are not just going through the motions. 
I understand that there needs to be some time to let your hair down after a long hard year of work, but let's try to find a balance that uses most of our class days wisely.  :)
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