Thursday, April 16, 2009

Testing

No, I'm not trying to figure out whether or not something on the blog is working...I'm literally writing about testing. :)

I was skimming back through the blog posts from the past couple of months. Have I seriously not mentioned the irritating tests that I had to take? If I have and just couldn't find the posts, I apologize. But since I think I avoided complaining until now, let me explain.

If you're not familiar with the teaching profession here in the U.S., you should know that a teacher must be licensed in order to teach in a public school. Each and every state has its own licensing requirements, and you need to have a license for the specific state in which you plan to teach. When I first graduated from college, I had a license in Ohio. Then I moved to Colorado and had to apply for (and pay for) a license there. Fortunately, everything I had done for my Ohio license "counted" for the Colorado one, so all I had to do was pass Colorado's English/Language Arts content test at some point during my first three years of teaching there. I took the test and passed on the first try, but I remember it being pretty hard.

Fast forward a bunch of years...we move to Washington. This means I need to apply for (and pay for) a new license here. Because of my Colorado license and 8 years of teaching experience, I was able to get a one-year temporary license by just submitting a bunch of paperwork (and fingerprints) and paying a bunch of money. However, in order to get a "permanent" license, I had to take and pass some tests.

I had to provide the state of Washington with my official score report showing passing scores on the Praxis reading, writing, and math tests. I did these tests (and passed them) while I was a sophomore in college. That was 1997. However...a couple years ago, while going through a "purging of the clutter" phase, I threw those test scores away, thinking I'd never need them again. Oops. And since I took the tests more than ten years ago, I couldn't order another score report from Praxis. So I had to take (and pay for...do you see a theme here?) these tests on April 4th. Yes...I had to take (and pass) a math test to prove to the state of Washington that I am capable of teaching high school English. I'm not bitter about that...really. I didn't think the tests were very hard, and I think I'm supposed to get my scores on April 27th.

I also had to take and pass Washington's English/Language Arts content test. It's literally the exact same test that Colorado uses (I compared the websites), but of course, showing my Colorado scores wasn't good enough. So I paid for this test, and I took it March 14th. Fortunately, this time around, I thought it was pretty easy. I was able to get my scores earlier this week, and my "scale" score was a 200. The best score you can get? A 200. I guess I proved to the state that I do know what I'm talking about. Good thing I took a 120-question multiple choice test to show them that. Because they definitely couldn't have figured it out from the fact that I have a degree in English Literature, 24 hours of grad credit in English Education, and 8 years experience of teaching English/Language Arts in Colorado.

Nope. I'm not bitter. :)

3 comments:

ELISABETH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ELISABETH said...

Perhaps not bitter, but markedly less wealthy after paying for all those tests. (Oh, and in case you didn't realize it, you *are* wealthy. Just wait to see how your taxes shake down next year.)

Welcome to bureaucracy, one of the most lucrative businesses in the world for those lucky enough to be on the receiving end.

Sorry you had to do all that.

Kim said...

Whoa! Talk about getting the runaround.

I got your message on the blog and wanted to get back to you. I got the box of Borax in the laundry aisle at WalMart. It was kinda hidden, but it's there.

I got the castille soap on Amazon, but you can find it at some Targets (just not mine) or at most health food stores. It works brilliantly as hand soap too, and can even be used as dish soap.