- what sections of the Fountas and Pinnell Reading Assessment I am supposed to give (woe betide the teachers who haven't been using it already, for they are even worse off)
- when I will receive the recording sheets I will have to fill out for each and every child
- when SFUSD anticipates having these assessments turned in to the Central Office.
I mean, it's not like I'm teaching anything right now, right? This will be totally authentic beginning of the year data no matter when they bother to get materials to teachers. October, November - whatever!*
The latest word is that we are to give ALL of the Fountas and Pinnell to ALL students, but this is so insane I have to hope I can assume it's a baseless rumor. Why precisely I would give a spelling inventory and a phonogram reading list assessment to a child who has mastered just two or three letters is unclear - unless the purpose is "to waste instructional time while also making children feel bad".
Moreover, the entire battery is an enormous amount of assessment - at the end of the year, we're talking two weeks of heavy-duty daily assessment periods - or a week of Resident teaching while I assess every day, all day and into the after school program. Why so long? Because it's all individual. And there's no math component, so I guess I should tack some time on for that.
This is really feeding a broader issue I have with non-classroom people. I don't have the option to open my classroom on the first day of school and not be ready to go. It is physically impossible to prepare for the year in the time for which I am paid; therefore, I give hours - this year, over a full-time week - to preparation.
Yet apparently the central office will get around to beginning of the year assessments whenever they feel like it. Similarly, we won't be starting library or PE until the fourth week of school - books to inventory, schedules to make, materials to receive. I can see why a week might be necessary to get up to speed, but three? Could none of this work be done the way the teachers do it - on their own time? And if not, why are these out-of-classroom professionals so cavalier with my time?
In the end, the whole "sense of urgency" thing school leader types talk about doesn't seem to mean anything to them personally. They have a sense of urgency for me, but not for themselves.
*I've been doing assessment the past couple of weeks, because of that whole "data-driven instruction" thing the Reform and Accountability people believe in (although not enough to GET US ANY MATERIALS). This means that when I get the Scantron sheets I will have the pleasure of filling them in not during assessment, but from my assessment records. This will add a few hours to the process, not to mention being a huge waste of my productive time. I TEACH KINDERGARTEN. I HAVE THINGS TO WRITE NAMES ON AND LAMINATE.