Indelible Blue Pen

Jason C. McDonald (CodeMouse92)

April 27, 2010

Looks Like a Duck to Me!

Is it just me, or is everyone in existence super-busy this week? There’s no way I can find out for sure, of course. No one has time for a poll.

So, I’ve been getting up early almost every morning for the past week, and I am exhausted. I thought spring break was time to relax. Hmm…

I do know part of the reason I’m so tired is that I had to do the Washington State High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE). Which is merely a re-named version of the dreaded WASL.

In the words of one of the kids that was doing the test at the desk next to me – “Looks like the WASL. *SNIFF* Smells like the WASL.”

Which probably means it is.

Sigh. That was two days of brain-numbingly dull and unproductive early mornings. Just about everyone finished at least an hour and a half before the allotted test time ended. That thing is way too easy, IMHO. :/

At least they handed out scratch paper to the students who were finished (though they had to keep everything for “security” reasons.) So, I drew a cartoon, which I later re-did at home. I’ll upload it in a later post.

I couldn’t help but chuckle at the non-math vocabulary list they handed out with the WASL. This list defined all of the words used in the word problems in the test, so there could be no confusion. Which seems all well and good, until you read the list.

Anyone here who doesn’t know what “babysitting,” “bean bag animal,” and “earthworm” mean? Remember, this is on a high school test.

I took one look at the list and turned to the girl next to me. “Honestly,” I said, “If someone doesn’t know what these words mean, chances are they’ve already failed the reading and writing portions of the test we took last week.”

The proctor explained the list as a way of ensuring that no one is unable to answer a question on account of non-math vocabulary they might not be familiar with.

However, after thinking about that, the explanation doesn’t really make sense. Whether babysitting means watching the child or sitting ON the child, the point is, the girl is making such-and-such a wage per hour, and she worked a certain number of hours. Math formulas are a constant.

Anyhow, I’m just glad that I don’t have to take the WASL again. I am pretty confident I passed the test, so now I can just look back at it and mock it.

Leave it to the government to say that if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and swims like a duck, its a goose.

Looks like a duck to me!


P.S. I’m taking another test next week, called a MAP test. It is done on the computer (GREEN!!!), and actually evaluates what the student knows by using an adapting set of questions.

Yo, Randy Dorn! PLEASE use MAP testing next time!


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