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. :)