Our 7th grade class took a test this morning. Both the process and the results were appalling.
– The process: Rampant cheating, whole-scale copying of other people’s answers
– The results: 100% of the class failed, even the really earnest girls in the front row
Exam Day also did not go well as almost everyone forgot their exam book.
In Georgia, textbooks are not provided by the school. Teachers select a textbook and then the student must purchase whatever is required. Like how we do it in universities. There is usually the student’s book, a workbook, and an exam book. There is also mention of a vocabulary book, but I have yet to see one so I am not sure if that is an actual book or just a notebook the students keep.
To put your minds to rest, these are not like the heavy, hard-back textbooks we had in school. They are all paperback and generally not very thick. However, considering the economic conditions of Georgia, it surprised many of us in my program that the families had to buy them. Well, let me tell you, the re-sale book business, especially of textbooks, is booming in Georgia. Students are bringing the most intensely dog-eared, broken-spined, re-used books I have ever seen. I am not sure that many of them could be resold on Half.com or Amazon Used Books even ranked as being in “poor” condition. I’m impressed at the families’ resourcefulness, but less amused when all the exercises have already been completed. In pen.
I think that the cunning 7th graders thought if they did not bring their books that the test would be cancelled. To no avail. I volunteered to write some of the test on the black board so that they could take the test in their notebooks. I wanted to see how they would do.
The entire time the test was being taken there was talking. Test books were being handed back and forth between students. Students were discussing questions with one another. Desks were shoved together, for more effective cheating. Some students stared out the window the whole time.
I was disturbed. I kept an eye on the teacher to see her response. No response. She sat down at the desk and worked on something. I remained standing and made eye contact with the most blatant cheaters. I think I need to work on my teacher glare. It seemed to have no power. I walked around, indicating for students to turn back to their own desks, to look at their own papers, to stop talking. I made the rounds again, glancing up at the teacher to see it I was overstepping my role. No response. I was very grateful when the bell rang and class was over.
We graded the tests. Everyone failed.
Hoo boy, it’s going to be a long year.