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NCLB Outrages

A Testing Monkey Wrench

This letter is from a Wisconsin Education Association package of educator and student stories about testing. From this article you can get a hot link to the entire package.

Three cheers to educators for speaking up.

by Bill Otradovec

WKCE testing places a monkey wrench in a lot of teacher’s lesson plans, including myself. I teach social studies to juniors and seniors. When state tests are administered here at Denmark, the juniors and seniors have an abbreviated day with roughly 60 minute classes. Denmark High School normally operates on ‘the block’ with 90 minute classes. For most teachers, a loss of 30 minutes of class time can equate to falling behind by days. I do the best I can with this issue. What concerns me the most, however, is the propensity for our school district to align and re-align our curriculum with what ‘might be on the state test.’ Our curriculum has become segmented, chopped, and out of sequence because of this. I ask the question...What is our mission as educators?

To teach for true learning and real life applications in a sensible, sequential order?...or to teach for ‘coverage’ in order to pass a test and not be labeled as a ‘failing school?’ Wisconsin has always prided itself on having a strong educational system built upon local control and pedagogical best practice. The result of these values...A state that routinely finishes top in the country on college entrance exams and has arguably the best educated workforce in America. Unfortunately, NCLB does not reflect our values and threatens the top notch public education system that Wisconsin has to offer.

— Bill Otradovec, Teacher, Denmark School District
Wisconsin Stories: How the ESEA is Endangering Wisconsin's Great Schools


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