Monday, June 9, 2014

Fear. The great motivator

Warning: this post contains a wee bit of snark and sarcasm, proceed with caution



Here in New York City we are about to administer a 5th grade "field test" on behalf of the curriculum publisher we use.

This morning I wondered aloud, "what if we don't do it?"

The initial response I got was a blank stare.


Parents can send in an "opt out" letter keeping their student from taking part, but we, as a school, are not allowed to create nor distribute those letters. Parents do it on their own.

Because we, as a school, must administer this field test.

But what if we don't?

After that initial blank stare, the answer was "nothing, I suppose."

But what is the real answer?

The real answer is we administer these field tests because we are told to by the chain-of-command above us. They, in turn, are told to by the "City" who, in turn, in told by the "State."

All because if we don't "we risk losing federal funding." That's the prevailing rational.

Fear.

The great motivator.

Also, I'm sure it's part of the contract New York City signed with the publisher. For the low, low rate of whatever they're charging us (it's only a few million, not the hundreds of millions they charge other states) we have to do these field tests in order to help make the tests better.

Because we, as a school, signed this contract. Right </dripping with sarcasm>

The gist I'm getting is it seems to me the only reason we administer these field tests is because we're told to, and because we're told we'll lose funding if we don't.

Fear.

The great motivator.


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