Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Budget Cuts trim away the CAT6 – somehow we’ll survive

By on December 2, 2008

So we’re at my department meeting yesterday, and my head announces that due to budget cuts, we won’t be administering the CAT6 this year.  There was this pause in the room that suggested suppressed sarcasm.

So let me get this right, the silence said, all these years of pushing for testing confidence and helping students learn test-taking skills, of yelling for better test quality, and taking time out of a valuable curriculum to prep for questions in a format students will never see again, of busting our academic asses through 1-2 weeks of yearly testing doldrums, and let me get this right, you’re cutting them, just like that? Was it always that easy?

When I think of all the times teachers have begged for these tests to be dropped because of ineffectiveness of the CAT6 (arguably a less effective assessment than the CSTs), when I think of all the successful programs that weren’t funded or were under funded and then “proven” to be ineffective, it all makes me want to break my #2 pencils in my teeth.

In the end, I’m glad we’ll have fewer tests this spring.  But wouldn’t it be great if teachers could be involved in the budget cuts?  I mean, wouldn’t the list that is on the chopping block look vastly different?  Currently, according to Ed.gov, the proposed cuts look like this.  

What would it look like if teachers were on the committee?


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