Friday, January 25, 2013

In Which I Am Instructed by DOE Experts

Yesterday I went for an exciting day scoring kids I have never met and never will meet. This is because I, like every teacher in the state, cannot be trusted. I am a lowlife, dishonest, worthless piece of protoplasm, as are all teachers. Naturally, I cannot evaluate papers without help from the experts at Tweed. Likely none of them have ever taught so they aren't corrupted as we all are.

First of all, we should "bring a printed copy of the State-posted rating guide for the appropriate subject area." This is because we are patently incapable of making decisions, and cannot do so without the help of the folks in Albany, who know everything. I mean, if I wanted to improve education, it would never occur to me to withhold 250 million bucks from schoolchildren, as Governor Cuomo did, or an entire billion, as Education Commisioner John King wishes. Me, I'd figure withholding funds could hurt kids. But what do I know?

Next, "to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the scoring process, scorers may not use any electronic devices in the scoring room, including cell phones, iPads, iPods, computers, tablets, etc." That's because I, like most teachers, would find nothing so hilarious as posting some kid's essay on Facebook with his full name. And how would I be able to resist ridiculing it for my thousands of followers, even if I had to do so 140 characters at a time on Twitter? Or maybe I'd scan it for the amusement of my friends and family. Thankfully, the DOE, in their infinite wisdom, has not allowed me to do this.

"Scorers may not listen to music while scoring." Because once the beat has me, I might just get up and dance, and teachers, lemming-like creatures that we are, would just get up and boogie along with me. Then it will be a big dance party, someone will film it on their iPhone, it will get broadcast on Fox News, and Mayor Bloomberg will declare, "This is clear evidence we must judge teachers by junk science."

"Scorers may not eat at the scoring tables with the exception of hard candy." Because what teacher could resist the urge to stick Jujifruits to test papers, or block out words with pieces of caramel. Mayor Bloomberg knows very well you can't do that with a piece of Jolly Rancher.

"No liquids are permitted at the scoring tables except for water in a closed container which must be kept on the floor." Now this one confused me. Was I allowed to open the container? And even if I was, how could I drink said water without picking it up from the floor? Dare I try? Would this be what finally lands me in the rubber room?

"Conversation should be kept to a minimum to avoid distracting other scorers." Good point. Because people locked in a room for six hours straight, in blatant violation of UFT contract, tend to talk. And how can any learning take place when people are talking? Clearly the only way to do anything productive is to sit around for hours with no interaction whatsoever. That must be in the Danielson framework somewhere. I'll have to check.

"Any discussions at the table should be about the rubric." Hey, how about that rubric? It's a wacky and wonderful thing, isn't it? I used to have a rubric's cube when I was a kid. Spent hours with the thing. That's not what it is? You mean you just don't like bricks? You rue bricks? No? Well, then, what the hell are we talking about?

I, for one, am gratified to know that someone is paid many times my salary to sit around, think about this stuff, and put it into words. I could certainly never come up with it on my own.
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