"This is a test – just a test – of the Emergency Broadcast System"


All of us have heard or seen the tests conducted by the emergency broadcast system and had there been an actual emergency when we would have been notified of how we were to proceed. I liken this to the approach of testing in Texas. I was reading the post entitled, “Severe Weather Testing Protocols” from the ‘Fractions Speak Louder than Nerds‘ blog. The district I was recently affiliated with was notorious for going overboard on the preparation of the building for the testing environment going to the extent of covering book cases, all posters – even motivational – as they had words on the posters or book spines and those words may help students with something on the test.

Personally, I don’t see that a poster saying, “Be true to yourself” or the 55 Rules of Ron Clark to be testing aids of any kind but hey, you do what you gotta do. Anything that can be prepared for is covered in the 150 page manual that contains the oath that you sign agreeing not to read the contents or commit any act that you shouldn’t or you will be notified of how to proceed as in the tests conducted by the emergency broadcast system.

The extent the educators go to that are mentioned in this fellow blogger’s post about protecting test booklets and materials is humorous. We laugh because we can relate to having to protect, monitor, count, check out, check in, lock up, pass out, collect, alphabetize and many other things that I didn’t name regarding the handling of the testing materials except looking at the test booklets.

If a student throws up or does the unforgivable thing of bending their answer document or even worse- spilling something on their booklet or answer document – all is lost and you are signing away your life on all kinds of forms to prove something bizarre happened and you weren’t just taking a peek at the content of the test. I know TEA loves to receive answer documents or booklets inside of a sealed ziplock bag with vomit or other unknown bodily fluids acting as an adhesive on the pages in the test booklet. I just hope the ziplock bag with the contaminated test materials was sealed before lunch…especially since it may be several weeks before TEA gets the special delivery of dried vomit on a test answer document. How fun is testing in Texas!?!

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