Billy Joel meant something else all together but (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU5OMNof1wU&feature=related) this is the tune ringing in my ears right now.
I begin in a humored tone but the truth is I am furious.
It is five o'clock on a Saturday MORNING and I am awake and doing the lords work. No! no not the BIG J's work but the "big M.", the good old ministry.
I have been spending the holiest of days (that is yesterday, my day off) and will be spending Shabos checking this poor, lame, sorry excuse for a standardized test.
Two of my best pupils (girls) couldn't tell if "our school news" is a newspaper or a teen magazine and I can't blame them for having a brain and using it (is "my school news" a newspaper (for that matter is Yediot?))
The Meitzav, for that is the name of this horrid thing, asks them to answer in one word and gives me three options at most to grade an answer which is longer.
If a child answers this question:
7. What do you want to know about ice cream? Write a question
to ask Amir Kateeb.
By writing: "I want to know how many time it takes to make the ice cream."
And these are the instructions for grading:
2 = Content is relevant and comprehensible; use of appropriate
question word / phrase (e.g., What…; How many…; Is there…;
Does ice cream…)
1 = Content is relevant but not entirely clear; question word / phrase
does not correspond to content use of a question word / phrase
(e.g., How matz flavor ice cream we have)
0 = Content is irrelevant and / or is incomprehensible; response is a
statement and clearly not a question (e.g., I love ice cream);
answers such as: I don’t know; nothing. One of the statements
from item 3 is copied or turned into a question (e.g. asked in the
Note: Do not deduct points for spelling mistakes.
How am I supposed to grade it?
On the other hand it gives me a new respect for my kids. Realizing this is representative of the average level of Israeli English.
Shabbat Shalom Lekolam