Thursday, March 5, 2009

CSAP testing

This week and next week is CSAP week at our school. CSAP is the Colorado Student Assessment Program and is the standardized test that Colorado Dept of Education uses to test the growth and achievement of students. Each morning, I proctor a test for either freshman or sophomore students. Afternoons in our building are shortened classes, with little or no real learning. Students and teachers are both brain dead. I told my wife yesterday, it seem like I teach for two days every day of work, one for testing, and one for classes.
Like many educators, I have my opinions about standardized tests. I think they could be used better if they held students responsible for learning. Instead, the high stakes test holds teachers accountable for what is being taught. Since the students don't feel any of the weight of these tests, they are on their honor to preform well. Teachers, especially core subject teachers, are under the gun. If a group of students chose not to do their best, the teachers are held responsible. I think course end testing would better serve the whole education community. Students wouldn't pass the course if they didn't pass the test. And, it could still be used as one of many tools for evaluating teachers.
Enough soap boxing, I discovered a cool video this week. Ayumi Horie throws pottery without water. Just pound the clay on the bat, cut away the parts that aren't balanced. I threw a cute little bowl yesterday, then ruined it today when I was trying to trim the foot. I'll try again tomorrow.
Craft classes are busy cutting out tiny metal pieces for silver solder jewelry. I'll post some pics when I have completed projects turned in.
I still am contemplating the color schemes for Jumping Off Point I think I have it down to 4 colors and cream paper. lots of things get in the way when you procrastinate as well as I do.
This week has also included the start of screen printing at Bound Staff Press. I have a four color one station press, and I pulled my first two proofs for the art club t-shirts. I also have begun the process of ordering repair parts for my press, and constructing a light box.
You know, I should break this into several smaller posts, but if I did that, I wouldn't get any of this stuff done.

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