Anonymous Georgia Teacher
**this is a Facebook post blogged with permission - it has not been edited.
"What type of alternative assessments do other states have? I teach in Georgia and we have an alternative assessment (portfolios) for students with significant cognitive disabilities (which I teach). I just finished my portfolios today and it was wretched. Basically its doesn't assess how the kids do, but rather how well the teachers can type up reports. The basic rundown for the portfolio and how ridiculous it is:
The state provides approved standards (ELA and Math are Common Core standards) and then the teachers chose two ELA standards (1 reading/1 writing/speaking&listening), two Math standards (1 numbers/1 geometry or measurement), and one of each science and social studies.
Now for each standard selected (6) - we have to create or find 4 work samples. (two 'baseline" before lessons and two "achievement" to show growth)- That's 24 work samples per student (which can also other things such as observation write-ups, or captioned photos of a student doing a task).
Next, you have to write an entry sheet for each standard describing the 4 tasks and the standard they align to.
Now we are up to 30 documents per student.
And finally, an annotation sheet for each work sample (the state makes this optional but my district makes it mandatory). The annotation states the standard, describes the task, and indicates teacher student interaction/levels of prompting.
So this could be 24 annotations sheets, 6 entry sheets, and 24 pieces of evidence (i.e. work samples). This is 54 documents FOR ONE CHILD!
Now multiply that by the number of students you have!
Luckily this year I only had 2 students in the testing grade - but my co-worker had 8! (And yes, I help him every year - because he always has the majority of the kids in testing grades.
The main frustrating part is that this system doesn't test what the students learn at all. It tests how well the teachers can create work tasks to align to the standards and how well the teachers can type of annotations. Plus there is no correlation to their IEP goals at all. So, I'm having kid "learn" about 4 random rivers in the United States - when they cant even write their names. (And by learn I mean - be able to correctly paste the name of a river on the right river)
BLAH. It's really really awful.
Sorry, long rant - we just finished this afternoon after working for hours and hours on end!"