Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Your Tax Dollars At Work
I proctored a Living Environment Regents exam today.

The students were all Special Ed.

Six of the twenty kids scheduled to take the test showed up.

Of those one girl was an hour late and then left after twenty minutes to “go to her counselor,” because she didn’t feel good. She left her test on her desk and assured me she was coming back, but did not.

It was blazing hot in our dingy little room. We had a fan but I turned it off because it was so loud I could not be heard.

Heard, you ask?

These kids, though normal in appearance and speech, couldn’t read. At all. So I was instructed, curtly I might add, to read the entire test to them, all 75 questions. I did so. It took me well over two hours.

The kids were to sign their names in at least three different places and were supposed to write the answers to questions 1-38 (Parts A and B-1) on an answer sheet, then copy them over to a Scantron. In Pencil. The rest of the questions (Parts C and D) were to be done in pen. In the test booklet. This was extremely important.

It took at least twenty minutes to get everyone situated with a pen and pencil and all the testing materials.

It was all very confusing.

“Yo, Mista, why I gotta do it twice? Which part I use the pen? I already signed. I gotta sign again?”

Of the 75 questions I’d say I knew to answers to approximately a dozen. Maybe not the MCAT, but this shit was hard. The most confusing part was how it just jumped from subject to subject with no context for anything.

It also didn’t seem to have a lot to do with knowledge of the environment, or science at all, but simply tested whether or not you understood all the big biology words it threw at you.

When all the kids were done and the missing girl didn’t show up I returned the tests and the answer sheets, snuck out a side door of the basement, and came home.

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