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The TAKS Man is Coming

February 27, 2009

TAKS testing starts on Tuesday, March 3rd bright and early in the morning. For those of you who aren’t involved in Texas education, TAKS stands for Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. TAKS is the judge, jury, and executioner for students and teachers in the state of Texas.

The past two years have seen a significant increase in the levels of test security. It was pretty comical last year as school testing coordinators half-heartedly joked about going to jail if a student cell phone went off during the test. This year, it has surpassed comical and launched well into insane paranoid psychosis.

We have just received an email clarifying the procedure for handling a testing room maintenance issue during TAKS. If a maintenance issue arises such as a child hurling breakfast all over the desk, the custodian (who has most likely not been properly trained in test security procedures) must be accompanied at all times by a campus administrator who has been properly trained in testing procedures. 

What I want to know is when did achievement testing reach the same level as handling nuclear weapons material?  My co-worker/boss, who is the district’s tech coordinator, has a high-level military security clearance and yet had to go through test security training to be allowed to manage technical issues that might arise during online testing. We had to laugh about that one.

We are all on edge because the state authorities might just pick our district for a monitoring visit. We have had to change out door locks, install classroom doors with windows, butcher paper cover every wall in the classrooms so as to make sure there are no hidden clues in the bulletin board displays, and basically waste a whole lot of time and effort making sure someone doesn’t cheat on a test or divulge top secret classified information about the test. We have to laugh at the insanity of it all, otherwise we would each find ourselves checking into the mental hospital a couple of towns north of here.

 The tax man may be coming on April 15th, but the TAKS man is coming March 3rd and won’t leave the premises for good until May 1st. Now might be a great time to do a little BrainGym. It will not only help calm my nerves about giving this test, it will be good for the kids, too.  Here’s to the gazillion dollar state testing lobby. Thanks a lot, Guys.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 28, 2009 8:40 PM

    I say we capture the TAKS man, throw a sack over his head and throw him in a dumpster where he belongs:)

    Maybe the TAX man could join him….hmmmm

    Kyla is really scared this year for some reason over the TAKS and it just makes me mad, that they do that to my child.

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