It is the last year when all the students at my school will take you. We’ve been together for so long. It is time to say farewell.
First, you were the WASL. Those were the days: the early days of teacher accountability when no one wanted to teach 4th grade for fear their scores would appear in the newspaper. Remember that study in 2001 that said the scent of apples would increase test scores? I’ve not seen so much apple flavored gum and scented candles as I saw in my building that year. Remember when we could administer you not only at 4th grade, but also at 3rd and 5th? High stakes testing for all students, even the short ones!
Then, in a moment of identity crisis and to placate those who wanted something different, you changed your name to MSP. I could count on you for 3 solid weeks of interrupted schedules, mind numbing test proctoring sessions, and the most boring training PowerPoints I’ve ever seen. You were there for me to create anxious teachers, stressed students, and angry parents. Remember all the boxes you sent me that I had to keep in a super secure location? That tattoo I emblazoned on my bicep with the choice phrases to say to students during testing (“Try your best” and “Don’t forget to check your work”) was just for you.
In 2011 when you changed, yet again, to an online-hybrid test, you entered the 21st Century and I was proud of you. For now, not only did students have to know how to read, respond to text, and understand mathematics, they had the opportunity to change their screen background from white to mint green. When I no longer had to secure boxes and boxes of test booklets, I celebrated. But printing text tickets and understanding an online test proctoring system was almost too much for me. However, students could now show their 21st century skills of using a screen highlighting tool as well as hunting and pecking the keys to enter their log in numbers.
I know you’re not leaving completely. I know that while we can’t take you for Reading, Writing, or Math, you will still be with us for science. Thank you for that.
For all the wonderful reasons listed so far of why I’ve loved you, I will miss you. You aren’t perfect. Who is? At least I know who you are and what you expect. You aren’t a mystery. You gave me excellent resources, tools, and modules to prepare students when they meet you. I know the sequence of tasks for gathering booklets, printing tickets, and distributing yellow lined paper.
2014-15 and beyond
|Reading||3-8||MSP||Smarter Balanced English Language Arts (ELA) Test|
|Writing||4 & 7||MSP|
|Math||3-8||MSP||Smarter Balanced Math Test|
|Science||5 & 8||MSP||MSP*|
The Smarter Balanced test is coming. (Between you and me, it sounds like a type of margarine. At least you had a snappy acronym.) I must move on to the Smarter Balanced test and all the uncertainty it has to offer. You just aren’t offering me the Common-Core alignment that I need. It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve moved past GLEs and EALRs. I’m into CCSSELA and CCSSM and Foundational Skills. I hope we can still be friends.
Relationships change and I have to move on. Thank you MSP/Test-Formerly-Known-As-WASL for all the years of service.
Your Favorite MSP Teacher, Test Proctor, and Test Coordinator.