Today we gave out a mandatory City-wide Language Arts test. For weeks we've been working on this unit. We spent the last three days reviewing the material.
One student passed the test in our first class. Three students passed in the second class. The young lady who is typically our best student in the second class scored a 15%.
We're at a loss. Sometimes the tests written by the dunderheads in the City Schools headquarters don't align with the material taught, but this time they got that right at least. There were problems with the test, however; one question asked for the meaning in context of a word which did not appear in the passage referred to, and the test directions referred to question numbers which did not exist.
But the students were informed of this ahead of time. Something is amiss. I think these students simply don't know how to prepare for a test. They don't understand how to study. Many of the brightest kids retain nothing for more than a day or two.
Of course all of this indicates a failure of the teachers. We are assuming they know how to study and retain information, the same way we learned. We have to include study and practice strategies in our lessons.
At least there were no fights today. One of our students was caught fellating multiple boys in the stairwell, and is suspended. I hope that she gets the medical attention, tests, and treatment she may need.