Is the CRCT as stressful for teachers as kids?

I noticed a trend on my Facebook feed this week – many of the teachers are talking about how stressed they are about administering the CRCT.

One friend from DeKalb said after her training about the tests, she’s now afraid to even touch them.

Another friend is having stress dreams about the test. She writes that she dreamed none of the pencils would sharpen and when they finally did the erasers would fall out.

If you are a teacher are you stressed about administering the CRCT? What worries you about it? How is the stress coming out?

Has your child’s teacher expressed to you any stress about the test?

23 comments Add your comment

iggy

April 25th, 2012
12:57 pm

Awww, poor, poor teachers. They are stressed…boo hoo. Why not give them all a well deserved $15K a year CRCT administration bonus. Perhaps that will ease their pain.

Better yet why not administer a pink slip for all these whiners and crybabies.

Me

April 25th, 2012
1:19 pm

I wonder how others, who are in high-stress jobs, deal with the fact that we receive no press or sympathy as it relates to our jobs? I am not a big supporter of the CRCT as I’m uncertain what they prove or what benefit they serve.

FCM

April 25th, 2012
1:35 pm

I agree with ME, CRCT has little benefit.

Pleanty of jobs are stressful but do not get airtime. I look at it like this: you knew what you were getting into when signed on to the job.

Second blog on CRCT this week. I am just sayin’.

Augusta

April 25th, 2012
1:38 pm

I don’t understand the stressing over a test?

K's Mom

April 25th, 2012
2:07 pm

Never been a teacher, but my 3 closest friends are and one is married to a teacher. Because of the APS cheating they are all scared to death about stray marks and erasures and losing their jobs. I do not think any of the teachers are asking for additional accolades or sympathy, but they are getting lots of press because of recent events. I do think it is far more stressful this year for the teachers and they should be allowed to complain, just like the rest of us do at times. The FB comments I have seen from teachers are no different than what I have seen from other folks talking about their job stresses.

DB

April 25th, 2012
2:14 pm

Something is broken when a friggin’ elementary school test gets THIS much press. We’re talking about a test that evaluates how well a school delivers academics. Of course, public schools have their hands tied, too, in that all this NCLB crap basically tells them WHAT the academics “should” be, with exceptions for every special interest group known to man. Give me a decent private school any day, who can decide what needs to be taught and how it should be taught without someone in Washington or the gold dome sitting back in a big leather chair and making decisions that have no basis in reality.

But just like many other tests, the CRCT’s results are misinterpreted and used as a club instead of an evaluation.

ABC

April 25th, 2012
2:24 pm

Why are teachers complaining on Facebook, and why are you, TWG, even picking up on this. God, this is why I hate FB.

iggy

April 25th, 2012
2:32 pm

“The firings will continue until employee morale improves.”

motherjanegoose

April 25th, 2012
3:07 pm

Every job has stress but there are lots of variables in a classroom of 20 plus children. If something happened at home, last night or this morning, the brightest children will struggle. Kind of like being given food to cook that sat out on the counter all night and should have been refrigerated. If you are being judged by the outcome you want food that is given to you in the best condition. There is usually never a day that every child comes to you in the best condition.

I am glad I do not deal with CRCT and can only visit the classroom with fun/learning ideas. Testing is not something I enjoyed and I did not have to admin the CRCT.

I shared this with DB already. I was in a school today, where one of the young “new” teachers looked quite familiar to me. I pondered it while I was sharing my insect show. Voila…the name came to me. I asked the teacher to introduce herself to me and YES….I had her in Kinder. I must be really old now! We got a kick out of it and it was neat to see her again…almost 20 years later! Fun day for me!

catlady

April 25th, 2012
3:07 pm

From a week before, until the CRCT is finished, I don’t sleep well. It is like I am excited like I am excited before school starts. At that point I have done all the teaching I can; now it is time for the students to show what they have learned. I look forward to seeing their scores. Student accountabilty time!

catlady

April 25th, 2012
3:13 pm

MJG, I am teaching with over a dozen “kids” I taught in kindergarten, including my roommate! In addition, I am teaching a number of my “grandstudents” whose parents I taught when they were 5 years old! THAT will make you feel old! But I have fun remembering things their parents did at 5! Sometimes I tell the kids funny things I remember their parents doing. The coolest thing may be the respect they show me, and how some of my former students come to me and want their kids to be in my groups!

homeschooler

April 25th, 2012
4:35 pm

Does anyone know when the CRCT started? I’m just wondering when we will be able to tell if all this “teaching for the test” is helping kids long term. It seems like an incredible amount of stress on everyone involved if it is not working to produce high school graduates who are proficient in their academic skills.

My niece is 17 and just fininshing her junior year. I know she took the CRCT through late elementary and middle school. She barely passed each time and because of NCLB, my sister’s efforts to hold her back were fruitless. The teachers would always say “she passed the CRCT”. My sister would say, she BARELY passed, just hold her back. Nope. The school spend thousands of dollars on Sylvan which would catch her up a bit and the next year she’d struggle again. Still I don’t remember the stress over the CRCT or the focus being so great until the past couple of years.

I can’t imagine a teacher being concerned about being accused of cheating if they are not cheating. Doesn’t make them sound very smart if they don’t realize that a few erasure marks is not going to make them look guilty. Sounds like a bit of overreacting to me.

I picked up a little girl last week who would end up spending a few days in foster care. She was only 9 but was so concerned that she was going to “miss the test”. When we arrived at the foster home I told the foster parent the child’s concerns and the foster parent was as concerned as the child. Well, we have to get her to school for “the test”. OMG..This child had just been removed from a crazy situation and everyone’s focus was “the test!!” That is one powerful test!

DB

April 25th, 2012
5:01 pm

@homeschooler: Exactly! It’s JUST a test to see what kiddies learned. It’s not the Bar, it’s not the CPA exam, it’s not an actuary exam, it’s not even an SAT. To put so much pressure on a kid that THAT is the first thing on their mind instead of her home life is falling apart — that’s insane. What if the child had transferred in from another state that didn’t have the CRCT? Does that mean that their Georgia educational career is over? Perspective badly needed, here.

Scotty

April 25th, 2012
5:11 pm

Well, I think the CRCT gets so much pressure added on to it because Georgia uses it partly to decide what schools should get more or less funding. In an economy where every school needs or wants more money, the CRCT does become a big deal. I’m not saying that’s the way it should be – like other said, it should just be a test to see what kids learned, plain and simple – but that’s how it is.

My kid’s teacher hasn’t expressed any stress about the testing, but I have no doubt that it is a stressful time for teachers, especially in the wake of the cheating scandal. I can imagine being afraid to touch the tests or have something accidentally happen that looks like they changed answers somehow. Plus, unfortunately the test is also testing how well teacher’s taught. If students do poorly, most of the time it seems to get blamed on the teacher not adequately teaching the material, even if that’s not the case.

go away!

April 25th, 2012
8:43 pm

How many school blogs does the AJC have? and dont you live in Arizona?

catlady

April 25th, 2012
9:03 pm

DB and homeschooler: Some kids do feel a lot of stress. Last year, one of our third graders tried to take the math section of the CRCT into the hallway when we had a TORNADO WARNING because he was afraid he would not have enough time to finish! That was so sad! Our math scores last year were down, perhaps because we spent 50 minutes in the hallway, with special dispensation from the Pope (Georgia DOE) to continue after the all-clear was sounded. When we started back, many of us were rather rattled.

However, the vast majority of our kids don’t give much of a whoopee. I mean, they want to do well as long as it does not require much effort on their parts.

catlady

April 25th, 2012
9:06 pm

DB–no other state has the CRCT, as it is a test of what is supposed to be learned IN GEORGIA. It is to measure only that. For example, why would any other state test on the state bird of Georgia (which seems to be of the most monumental importance, apparently.)

Teacher

April 25th, 2012
9:33 pm

I am an elementary school music teacher, and yes, I am stressed out over the CRCT.

Why?

Because I have to not only watch, but actively participate in the transformation of my school from a wonderful, nurturing place of learning into a testing center where kids’ scores are more important than kids.
Because I, along with all 3rd-5th grade teachers, specialists, parapros, and every adult who can be spared, am having to administer the test.
Because I have to give a test rather than do my job.
Because I am having to watch my dear children struggle and agonize over a test that takes 4 hours a day to complete.
Because I am paranoid that I am going to make one wrong step and get into trouble and compromise the integrity of my students’ or my school’s scores.
Because I feel totally exhausted from being on my feet for 4 hours straight with no bathroom break while I administer the test, then skipping lunch to immediately switch gears and transform back into the music teacher.

It is truly dehumanizing for the teachers and for the kids. As someone said above, something is broken. I have no problem with it on an immediate level– the CRCT is a reality of public schools right now, and as a public school teacher, I am happy to do what my school needs me to do. And right now, my school needs an adult to stand in a room and watch kids take a test. But I am outraged, stressed, and saddened by it.

DB

April 26th, 2012
12:12 am

@catlady: Most states have some sort of criterion-referenced test, simply because the NCLB requires criterion-based testing in order to show progress and qualify a school for Federal funding. They may not call it the “CRCT”, but some sort of state-wide testing is in place. It all boils down to money and AYP. But the Federal government doesn’t set the learning standards. The state does. So . . . the state gets to set the standard, and even then, there are still schools who can’t meet them. Sounds like a screwed-up system to me. A criterion based test measures how well children have mastered established levels of learning — but the levels are not normative across the country, so a 2nd grader in Georgia may be at a wildly different level than a 2nd grader in, say, Minnesota. Without a normative test, such as the ITBS, it’s difficult to compare apples to apples.

motherjanegoose

April 26th, 2012
8:49 am

Then there are those who have commented that we must start school before Labor Day to get things going. What I have always wondered, is if the early start is so effective…should we not compare our state ranking with those states that start after Labor Day and see if we are better…UM…no we are not.

@catlady, I remember that while in World History, in college, we had to know all the countries in Africa. Not helping me much now as some are not the same. I will say that having traveled the US, I am much better at all the states and know many of the capitals too. Rote memorization and hands on learning are two different things…as you know!

iggy

April 26th, 2012
10:00 am

Oh my…look at all these comments from omniscient teachers who know just enough to be dangerous. Another storm in teacup.

Do your job, change careers or SHUT UP. Other than crying like an 8 year old why not do something, ya whiners.

misawa

April 26th, 2012
12:02 pm

I remember taking this stuff during school – I think it was the ITBS, but it may have been the CRCT, too. I honestly don’t recall it being that stressful. If i finished the section, I did; if not, oh well. Really don’t recall too many of my classmates being overly anxious over it, either.

That said, I’ll save my diatribe for standard tests for another day. Bottom line is somebody somewhere has got to be making a fair amount of money on this.

cobb mom

April 26th, 2012
2:53 pm

We had teachers flagged this year for too many erasures even though every erasure was documented (children aren’t perfect they do get off the line). Because of this we didn’t test our own children. Since the state of Georgia treated us like criminals it was not a conducive testing environment. I expect scores to drastically drop. I documented every erasure on every single section of every test. Even having the children mark their answers in the test booklet before bubbling in their sheet didn’t keep children from getting off the line. They are children, not robots!