Three sure things in Texas

Everywhere else, two things are sure: death & taxes.

We’re Texans. We like ’em bigger. We like MORE.

In Texas, we have THREE sure things: death, taxes, & TAKS.

Yes tatertots, it’s TAKS time in Texas.

And wouldn’t you know it? TAKS & tax(es) all came due this week. As one of my students says often & loud: “Whoo doggie!”

Today was an historic day in the state’s assessment system, too! Today was the final administration of the current generation of the State Developed Alternative Assessments (or SDAA II) at the secondary level across the state.

Teachers, administrators, and students alike all shed a tear in honor of this historic moment (or hysteric moment if you prefer).

Okay, okay. I’m being “slightly” facetious. Nobody shed a tear. And, unless the folks involved were special educators, they didn’t even know that history was made today. Or cared if they realized what had happened.

So why do I bring it up? Well, tatertots, I’ll tell you why:

I and a small handful of teachers from across the state have met in Austin (the capitol of our great state … keep it weird, will ya?) over the past several years to approve the development of this assessment and review student progress of those that have received these assessments. I and my cadre of colleagues met for the last time in Austin in July ’06 for the final review of the field test data of the alternative assessment. July was the final time those questions were reviewed before the final time they were used in an alternative assessment for the poor souls (er, students) of our great state. Okay, this test only effects the special ed population, but I digress.

So for me, today was a significant day. The end of an era. Wow.

I’m impressed that I was able to begin and end an era in my lifetime. Okay, it was the era of a TEST. But still. A significant day, nonetheless.

And the students?

Well, some of our students have two more days of testing. You could hear them chanting as they left the school grounds this afternoon:

“Two more days!” “Two more days!”

The chants sounded more like groans, but you get the drift.

Yes, tatertots. Three things are sure in Texas:

Death, taxes, & TAKS.

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