Back in town

Sorry ’bout the recent silence. I left Red Fork on Saturday afternoon and drove to Illinois to visit family one last time before school starts. I didn’t get back in until yesterday evening, and now I’ve got to hit the ground running on bulletin boards and lesson plans and such.

On the way home yesterday, I got a most welcome phone call: Ron was calling to tell me that he had just gotten off the phone with Zaphod, who had seen my kids’ test scores, and they made AYP. (AYP stands for “Adequate Yearly Progress,” which is part of the No Child Left Behind requirements.) I’d been a little nervous about the test after hearing a few students say that they had gotten bored with the test and started filling in random answers instead of reading the questions.

It drives me nuts when they do that, but I blame the system more than the kids. How many 16-year-olds do you know who will take a long, boring test that doesn’t have any impact whatsoever on their grade? The whole notion that you can make accurate judgments about kids’ knowledge of the subject matter on the basis of a zero-accountability test is absolutely ridiculous. Apparently somebody finally got wise, because the students I have this fall will be required to pass a certain number of state-mandated tests next spring before they are allowed to graduate. Long overdue, but better late than never, I suppose. 

In any case, I’m pretty happy with our results, because they make my kids look good, they make me look good, they make Zaphod look good, and they make my new principal’s job easier.

Anyway, I’d better get offline, because I have a Grapes of Wrath quiz to write, bulletin-board signs to design and print out, and mountains of materials to take to my classroom and put up before Ron gets up and around. We’re heading to Evelyn’s for lunch, and then we’ll take Gretchen over to Sapulpa to pick up feed and some classroom materials I ordered from a little specialty shop over there. Busy day, and I really want to get some more work done at school before I get too far into it.

I’ll post pictures of Jamie and Hazel when I get a hand free.