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Monday, March 03, 2008

Taking Testing to the Next Level

Citing dropping test scores and the imperative of No Child Left Behind, the Missouri school board announced a radical restructuring of state testing. The Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) has been in place for several years, but educators were concerned with the declining number of students scoring proficient.

"Since there is obviously no flaw in the design of the test we had to consider other sources for a our failings," says state school board member Ayn McNally. "We spent years blaming our teachers. We really thought that it was their fault."

After introducing merit pay, test scores did not improve and nearly 90% of the state's teachers were fired for underperformance. In order to hire highly qualified teachers the state used the increased revenue from the lottery and gambling boats to rent five billboards throughout the state. Within a year all but one of those were replaced with signs advertising new casinos. The last one was eventually bought by a local mega-church and simply said, "JESUS."

"We were forced to come to the conclusion that our students were not taking the test seriously enough," said McNally.

So this year new policies are in place that make the test literally life and death. The assessment program has been renamed The Executioner. Prediction are for nearly a 25% fatality rate the first year with sharp declines the next three years. Eventually the only students done in by the test would be those that natural selection would have taken care of anyway.

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