Forget Fred Astaire, imagine if you will, (oh, my, Grumpy Old Teacher–GOT–is mixing metaphors or at least pop culture references–apologies to Rod Serling) the face of Miguel Cardona, our newest, brightest, and shiniest U.S. Secretary of Education, or something like that on the face of the premier danseuse (that means the guy in front.) Testing must go on. So in school after school after school across the land, it’s time to put on the Ritz.
GOT googled the meaning of that phrase. It means to dress fashionably. Yes, that covers it. Time for testing and we are going to dress up poorly written, badly constructed, devoid of sound pedagogy tests in fancy clothes. We’re “putting on the Ritz!”
Time to threaten 8-year-old children that we will hold them back a year if they don’t score high enough on their reading test. We’re putting on the Ritz.
Time to threaten teachers with VAM scores that are more meaningless than ever because children have passed from teacher to teacher like a virus (hmm) moving through a classroom and multiple teachers have taught one student throughout the year. We’re putting on the Ritz.
Time to worry children about EOC scores and graduation requirements. Time to tell middle schools students they won’t pass their grade unless they do well on tests (a lie, of course.) Time to … put on the Ritz.
We could have avoided this. But the last time anyone listened to an actual teacher, GOT was in first grade, eyes wide opened, as the teacher paddled a child (the O is not an exaggeration, teachers could do this back then) for not following her instructions in using the classroom bathroom. The rest of us listened and got the lesson.
If anything, 2021 testing is more meaningless than if we had found a way in 2020, a year when children spent most of it learning under normal conditions in their schools in their classrooms in the presence of a real teacher.
But it’s time to put on the Ritz. Time to pay clothiers great sums of money to rent the fancy clothes because, yeah, you have to feel sorry for the guy who convinced you that you needed fancy dress (as the Brits would say) for the annual prom. He put a lot of money into tuxes and evening gowns, so put on the Ritz or he might not be around next year.
If you understand the metaphor, you would agree with GOT that the bankruptcy of the clothiers would be a good thing.
Because there’s another way to look at putting on the Ritz–we’re dressing up a monster.