The Results are in

26 May



I can’t believe I’m blogging about this…AGAIN. Already. I really, really was hoping to just sort of put things behind me and finish the year, relax and then start next year all fresh. I was willing to go into next year with a more open mind and determination to do better.


But it just couldn’t rest.


This past year, this blog was dominated by the Georgia alternate Assessment and the havoc that it caused in my life as a teacher. I logged in countless hours going over and over and over the stuff. I really did try my best to make sure I did all of it correctly. I did make the one snarky remark and got my butt soundly and roundly chewed for it. But over all, I put in what I can only describe as my best effort. As one assistant principal Harry said, “It’s not the students that are graded, it’s the teachers.”


I finally got my grade for the GAA.


No, the results for the students won’t be ready until June 11th! What the hell good that does, I have no idea. It’s demoralizing that we broke our butts to submit them in a timely manner and then they can’t score them in a timely manner. No matter. The damage has been done. I personally have spoke to a dozen or so teachers who are moving, retiring and transferring to escape the GAA. Students with the severest of disabilities will have the most inexperienced teachers next year, thanks to this crap.


I was observed earlier in the year and got a good classroom evaluation. But yesterday, on the last day of school, another assistant principal, Carey, pulled out another evaluation form for me to sign. It was a reprimand, noting my unsatisfactory performance on the GAA. They said they found mistakes that I had failed to correct. They said I had submitted incorrect data collection dates. They said I failed to measure up. Carey said that they had to rush at the last minute to correct whatever errors they found. I had submitted and resubmitted multiple, multiple times and tried to incorporate every suggestion and correction asked. As my first time through this, I was doing the best I could and under pressure.


It doesn’t even matter how Taz did, now. Because if he passes, the AP’s will take the credit based on their corrections. If he fails, they’ll blame it all on me. It’s the ultimate CYA.


Now I don’t know if I even want to come back next year. It certainly does provide the incentive to look for other options and it seems to be pointing towards getting out of the severe and profound business. The Washington and Atlanta bureaucrats are making an already challenging job unmanageable.


Haha!  Misspelling the title was so indicative of my confusion!  No wonder I can’t do these things right.

3 Responses to “The Results are in”

  1. Erin May 26, 2007 at 11:15 am #

    I’m in Georgia as well, and I know our county would love you. If you’re interested in moving to another metro Atlanta county, just let me know. I’m sure there are some jobs here. I’ll look if you’re interested.

  2. alltogether June 5, 2007 at 7:46 pm #


    I feel your pain, as I am a fairly new teacher who has had to do alternate assessments the last three years. Yet, one of the most respected researchers and practitioners I study told us point blank that these things are not about teaching.

    Truly a great assessment system that really shows what our students with moderate to significant special needs would be awesome. How cool would it be to have a great portfolio to truly celebrate learning.

    Yet, right now it stinks! That’s it. Just trying to remind you to not let those paper pushers get you down. That may be there job right now, but it’s not mine. I need to teach! Stay strong!

  3. jon June 6, 2007 at 6:43 am #

    WOW. Sounds like a very common public school situation. I can relate.

    I experienced the same sort of sentiment while teaching in DC public. It definitely feels as though the assessment is grading the teachers rather than the students, as most of the scoring is based on domains outside of what the student has actually done (e.g. settings, scoring, preparation).

    My first year (using the assessment) was the worst because I was totally unprepared. But after that, I used the way the assessment was set up as a model for setting up my class. It doesn’t fix the problem, but it made life much easier until the problem could be addressed.

    Much respect to you for what you do. Good luck no matter what your decision. Cheers-

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