Guilt and Shame

I’m lucky to still be employed and enjoying Spring Break after the latest incident at work.

A school is considered to be failing if its students don’t progress a little bit each year towards the norm on standardized tests. In a few years every child is expected to be above average.

Due to a communication breakdown, I did not give the final hour of a test to two Section 504 4th grade students who were entitled to extra time. I had been scheduled to give all three sections of their 4th grade math test, but thanks to a student who was absent 2 days and another who had been tardy then disruptive, my supervisor took over with the 4th graders while I redid other tests. After the make up tests for my special education students had been completed, my supervisor told me that “tomorrow we’re going back to the regular class schedule.” The next day I had classes as usual.

A week later my supervisor came to my classroom door and asked “why didn’t you give the last math test?” I looked at my calendar and saw I had penciled in one last test with the 4th graders, but assumed that it had already been administered since I had been told that day was a regular school day. I offered to do it during my prep, but my supervisor wanted to check with the powers that be to see if they still could be tested. It was of course too late.

So now it seems my school probably won’t make adequate yearly progress, thanks to my negligence causing two students each getting 0 on a third of their math tests. The school will be one that is “failing.”

A teacher applicant for next July is scheduled to come in and teach a sample lesson next week.


March 29, 2010. 1.

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