If you have anything to do with the school system in Texas, then you know what four-letter word I'm talking about....although it's actually not a word......but yes, it's TAKS. The first round is tomorrow.....TAKS Tuesday. Grades 3, 5, 8, 9 will be taking reading, grades 4 and 7 will be taking writing and grades 10, and 11 and those 12 graders who have not passed yet, will be taking ELA. You have to pass the 11th grade test in four subjects before you can receive a high school diploma. No pressure there!! You also have to pass 3rd grade reading, 5th and 8th grade math and reading before you can move on to the next grade. It's very stressful for these students. They will have 2 other times to try and pass it if they don't the first time.
A lot of people who do not work in the school system think that on TAKS day, the teachers hand out a test and a pencil to every student, then take them up at the end of the day and that's all there is to it Let me assure you, there is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes that you may not know about.
At my school I'm the district testing coordinator....lucky me!! My job is to make sure every student is taking the right test, I have to train the teachers on how to give the test, and I have to make sure that we have the right security measures in place...just to name of few of my duties. There is not just one TAKS test...there are several. The regular TAKS, the TAKS-accomodated, the TAKS- modified,the TAKS-Alt. and the Dyslexia bundle. There is also the TELPAS and the LAT. As testing coordinator, I have to be trained in all of these tests so that I can train the teachers. There are students that have to have individual administrations, oral administraions, or small group adminitrations.
The teachers that give these tests are under a lot of pressure. If the kids don't perform well, then it's their fault!! They have been preparing their students since the beginning of school. They have to go to trainings as well and they have to sign more than one oath stating that they will abide by all of the rules and regulations and that they won't help the students with the content, that they won't look at the test before, during or after the administration. If any of these things happen, they can lose their certificates. Luckily that doesn't happen often....and not hardly ever around here. Our teachers.....at my school and in my home town....are very professional and do a great job of preparing and administering the tests.
If you know a teacher, let her/him know that you appreciate what they do. Give them a pat on the back or a word of encouragement.....they will really need it this week!!