Let’s talk about assessment in band. We don’t have a standardized test, so instead we go to a yearly district-wide assessment. Each group plays three songs for three judges and then sight-reads for a fourth judge. Their scores are totaled, averaged, and a rating is given. It is not a competition. Groups are not ranked based on scores.
Here’s the catch: each student that participates is supposed to pay a per-student fee (which is not cheap). This fee covers the judges’ payment and purchase of all new sight-reading music each year. Some schools pay for their groups out of the school fund. My groups are paid for from the band budget given by the county each year. A few schools have to request that their students pay for it out of their own pocket.
I think it is crazy that students, schools, or band programs have to pay for an assessment.
As one of my colleagues put it: “They don’t make the kids put in quarters to take the SOL.”
I understand what we are paying for. I really do. But I still don’t like it. I wish there was a way that we could have assessment, but not make it a financial burden on the schools or students.
“Gates argued that the high unemployment rate — 7.9 percent, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor statistics — is the result of deficiencies in the educational system, rather than an absence of available jobs.
There are currently three million more jobs than there are people with the degrees to fill them, and Gates said the American system needs to start supplying workers or risk losing these opportunities to other countries.”