How to Avoid a Classroom Meltdown
It was an unusual school year, but Jefferson Parish school officials were still grappling with a crisis of confidence when the district launched a new, high-stakes testing program.
Students would receive one-on-one examinations for their test scores and quizzes, and then their teachers would provide the answers.
Students who passed the first two rounds of the test would earn a certificate.
Students with lower scores would receive less credit for their scores.
And some parents worried about their children failing the test.
The new tests had to be made easier to pass and easier to administer, so that parents would be able to use the same methods that they used for testing, said Superintendent Robert Farrar, who was then the district’s principal.
But the school’s administrators were also trying to convince teachers to be more patient.
Farrarm was worried about the effect the test pressure would have on the students.
“I think the principal has a right to be worried about how it’s going to affect our students, and that’s understandable,” Farrarsaid, referring to Farraries worries.
“But there’s no way you can be a principal and not be worried.”
But when the new tests went into effect, the district had to find ways to keep its students from falling behind, Farrarcsays principal, who asked that he not be named.
And as the school year wore on, the pressure on Jefferson Parish schools to prepare for the new test program began to build.
In January, after the first round of tests were administered, the school district started a pilot program in which teachers were given an essay about the program.
A teacher then read the essay aloud to students in the first class of the morning.
That morning, the class was asked to go through a test.
But they did not complete the test, and the teacher explained that it was a “bad” one.
So they were given a certificate that indicated they had passed.
But Farrarrar said that the teacher did not give the students the certificate that day, and instead gave them a note.
“That’s what the teacher told us, because that was the first day I had received a certificate for the test,” Farsar said.
“And that’s how I was concerned that the tests were going to be a problem.”
Farrary also worried that the test pressures might cause teachers to stop teaching their students.
So he decided to give students an extra assignment.
Instead of writing an essay, he gave them an assignment, and they wrote it.
The student then sat down and wrote it out.
The teacher then reviewed the assignment and decided that it had passed, and gave the student the certificate.
But there were some questions about that, Farshar said.
The next day, he received an email from a teacher who had been asked to review a student’s test results and said that she thought the test was “a waste of time,” according to the email, which was obtained by The Associated Press.
FARRAR, who also has a PhD in psychology, said that he had no idea why a student had been given the certificate, and did not know what the consequences of failing a test would be.
“What was the point in giving me a certificate?”
“The answer is I don’t know.
It just didn’t happen that way.”
But the lesson from that day resonated with Farrard.
“There are certain things that we need to remember,” Farlar said, “and I would say that we have to be very careful when we are talking about this.”
A year later, FARRARS teacher gave another assignment to students.
This time, he asked them to write down their own thoughts on a hypothetical scenario.
FARS, a former police officer, had a long history of helping students develop critical thinking skills.
When he was hired as a teacher, he had a goal to help students understand the implications of a situation before they made decisions that could potentially result in tragedy.
“If a child has a situation where they are facing danger, and their mind is not in the right place, that’s going from a situation of a danger, to a situation that could lead to tragedy,” FARRARD said.
So FARRARDS teachers assigned the students an essay.
But one student, in class, did not write it out, FARARS said.
Instead, he wrote a story about the person who had done this.
He said that this person was a student who had passed a test and had been praised for his academic performance.
But when FarrARS asked the student why he wrote that story, he said that, because it was the way he felt about the situation.
FARARDS teachers told FARRARITS students to write their own stories, but he was concerned about the impact that a student might have on their own learning.
Fares words echoed those of many parents.
“It’s not okay for a teacher to be the only one who knows