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Thursday, May 21, 2009


Update: The API scores for all California schools have just been been posted. Even the one this post is based on...

I’ve signed nondisclosure agreements, submitted to security background checks and memorized codes used to access restricted facilities in my previous profession. It never occurred to me I would require anything approaching that level of security while subbing for 3rd graders.

When I was informed a few weeks ago that I would be giving the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) tests for a 3rd grade class, I didn’t anticipate any big deal. I’ve handed out tests and monitored test taking with several classes before.

But, when the principal handed me a twenty page “excerpt” for the three sections of STAR tests I was to give over the five day assignment, I should have gotten a clue.

The first thing I had to sign was a nondisclosure agreement that said I wouldn’t reveal, copy, publish or disclose in any manner or method any of the test questions or answers.

I was required to maintain the integrity of the test booklets in my possession for fear that someone else might take one or copy it for what ever reason unknown.

I had to sign a daily check-in/check-out sheet for the latched booklet carrying case. I was required to count and verify the number test booklets twice daily make sure I had them all. I was required to monitor and record any instances of cheating during the test taking process.

It was almost like I was a the star character in my favorite TV show…

(My advance apologies to the writers and producers of “24”)


(--The following takes place between the hours of 08:00am and 10:50am--)

Agent ‘H’ (me): I’m the STU agent (Substitute Teacher Unit), code name “Homework” you sent for. I’m here to interrogate the suspects.

Security (Office) Secretary:
Sign in here for your secure room key and assignment folder. Your controller, code named “Principal”, will fill you in with all the details. I’ll let him know you’re here.


P: We had an advance team go in and sanitize the target area for you.
H: Yes, that should help. All those grammar rules posters and multiplication tables of secret data would be a deterrent to getting accurate intel from this group.

P: We’ve also set up isolation cells for each suspect. There is no possible way for any of the suspects to communicate with each other. The “privacy folders” are made of state of the art, sound suppressing cardboard!


H: What else we know about this group?
P: All we know at this point is that it is a terrorist cell of 28 individuals known as “The Third Graders”. We don’t know what kind of intelligence they have but we do know that they are reluctant to divulge any information at this point in time.


P: This canister contains restricted questions that we want answered. We have a time commitment to obtain those answers. We cannot fail! Do you understand? Are you sure you can do this job?

H: It might take some “enhanced interrogation” methods to get at the truth, but yes, I’m sure it can be done. A little water hoarding should help things along. No drink or bathroom breaks during the test usually gets to the truth.

H: If that doesn’t work, can I shoot a few in the knees?
P: Unfortunately, no. That would be against school policy.



Super Sub said...

Did they remember to tell you that the case will self destruct in 10 seconds?

HappyChyck said...

Laughing myself right off the couch. OMG!

KauaiMark said...

Super Sub,
"...self destruct in 10 seconds?"

That was Mission Impossible and a different background beat. Besides the school can't recycle blown up plastic cases.