I got in trouble at school today. And I don't care.
My boss unexpectedly summoned me to her office where I was greeted by a big-wig from central administration. He handed me a report that indicated I'd made absolutely no use of a program I was directed two months ago to "utilize" in my classes (sidebar: why do people insist on saying "utilize" when a simple "use" will do? WHY?) and called upon me to explain myself.
The program in question is an online program based on the premise that students are customers of education and that the job of teachers is to prepare their customers to be competitive in the business world. According to their website, the program "utilizes the concepts of business management and applies those ideals to learning" by using (not utilizing? are you sure?) "performance charting to assess student learning."
Performance charting. Guess what that means, y'all. Data.
Mother. Fucking. Data.
Essentially, my kids enter data into the program
and the program graphs the data.
Then I'm supposed to check to make sure that each of my students is updating all nine of their "key performance indicators" (number of pages read in two hours, for example).
As I explained to the big-wigs today for perhaps the third time, the program has little (if any) instructional value, the kids find it as useless as I do, I have neither the time nor the technology to integrate the program into my daily classroom routine, and monitoring my students' use of the program is incredibly time-consuming.
"Every hour I spend checking to see if my kids have graphed their test scores is an hour I don't spend reaching them and teaching them," I told them angrily.
"I understand your frustration, Megan," my boss responded, "but I just want us to look good."
For the record, I like and respect my boss, and I recognize that she was in an awkward position. But you know what's not gonna look good? When all the quality teachers quit because they're so sick of fucking kids over in the name of data collection, and you're left with the teachers who can't do anything BUT collect data.