- A public school teacher in Shelby County, TN 4/30/15
- from a teacher in Metro Nashville School District, 2015
I had to report an irregularity because one boy, new to us from Myanmar, kept going to the next math section when he wasn't supposed to because he saw the other students checking over their work and thought he was supposed to keep working, too. At least that's what I think he must have thought.
Can you imagine sitting down to take a test on what you know, but the test is written in Russian? Then being told you scored very low and must work hard to catch up? You're not stupid, but you're not Russian, either.
My other ELL students in the room worked very hard, but they also had problems that I, of course, could do nothing about. I'll give you an example. One boy, from Kurdistan, called me over during the ELA portion and asked if there was a mistake on his test. I looked at it. The word was 's'mores.' What the heck? I'm pretty sure they don't have s'mores in Kurdistan. Plus, since he's been here, we've been telling him that we put apostrophe 's' AFTER a word. Of course he was confused. And I couldn't help him other than to say it wasn't a mistake. I'm still furious about it. This was the ELSA test, *designed* for ELL students. How out of touch are we?
Sorry for the rant. It just really works my last nerve that we, as teachers, work so hard all year to help our students, and then they are misled and made to feel inadequate after making so much real life progress simply because one test is unfair and unrealistic. It is wrong and it needs to be fixed.
When you consider our standardized test scores, it's important to remember that Nashville- with a thriving immigrant and refugee population- serves the largest percentage of English Language Learners in the state. What are we doing to these poor children?
- a teacher in Metro Nashville, 2015