TAKS scores started to trickle in today. I heard the pass/fail numbers for the 11th graders in my small learning community, which amounts to 50-60%, which is outstanding all things considered. Unfortunately, that counts for about 20% of my students. I shudder to think what my actual numbers will be. I'm not exactly shopping for what I'm going to buy with my bonus. Hahahahaha. Besides, that's based on the 10th graders who have less than no motivation to pass since it "doesn't count."
But beyond me and my personal selfishness and ego (I want to have higher scores than others), I heard that one of my favorite students found out today that she failed (again) the science portion of her exit level test, meaning she will not graduate in a few weeks. I heard she was in tears. She's a big, tough, strong girl and tears are not something she does. When someone cut her with a blade during the brawl last semester she was shaken up, but she did not cry. You know who's crying also? Me. I know that she wasn't in my class this semester, but last semester there were days she could have taught the class. I don't understand it. Maybe she has test anxiety. Or the test is stupid and hard and written to trick people. Normally that pisses me off, but this is one life I care about and I don't know what to do for her. She'll take it again in the summer and pass it. If I have to work with her 8 hours a day on test taking skills and forgetting science knowledge and learning tricky wording skills. Argh.
Sometimes I hate my job. And high-stakes testing. These are high stakes indeed and someone I care about lost big time.