Saturday, July 06, 2013

A Little Standardized Testing Humor

This was originally published in March of 2009. At the time, the author was unknown. Recently, the author of this great piece, Tammy Beauchamp Cohen, contacted me with this lovely note: 
"I just saw something I wrote five or more years ago on a blog of yours from 2009. It's called "FCAT Directions for Eating a Donut." Needless to say, I'm very excited to see it online. I sent it to a friend originally who then forwarded it, which is why it's not attributed to anyone. Anyway, I think it's great that it is out there. It's cool to be published even if it is anonymous."
Since it's now summer and educators are more likely to have a sense of humor about all the testing madness, I thought this was worth a reprint. 


"Today you will be eating a donut. Remove all materials from your desk except a No. 2 napkin. If you do not have a No. 2 napkin, please raise your hand and I’ll give one to you.

Hand out napkins to the students.

The glazed Krispy Kreme disk-shaped donut with a hole in the middle you are about to eat is a sweet donut; therefore, certain rules must be followed to protect the integrity of the glazed Krispy Kreme disk-shaped donut with a hole in the middle. You may not have any electronic or recording devices, such as cell phones, pagers, or electronic games, at your desk, even if you don’t use them. Possession of any electronic device that reproduces, transmits, calculates or records the glazed Krispy Kreme disk-shaped donut with a hole in the middle may be cause for invalidation.

Hand out the donuts to the students.

The only materials on your desk should be your No. 2 napkin and your glazed Krispy Kreme disk-shaped donut with a hole in the middle. Look at the hole in the middle of your donut. We need to be sure the hole is in the proper place and that there are no missing or upside down holes. Starting with the right side of your donut, check all the way around your donut until you get to the right side of your donut again. If there are any problems, raise your hand. If not, put the donut down and sit quietly.

Wait until all students are finished. If there are any defective donuts, eat them immediately.

Now you’re going to eat the glazed Krispy Kreme disk-shaped donut with a hole in the middle. You’ll have ten minutes to eat your donut completely. You must not use your feet to eat your donut, but you may use your hands, fingers, and mouths, if you find it helpful. Look at the back of your donut. You’ll see the back of your glazed Krispy Kreme disk-shaped donut with a hole in the middle. This is where you’ll put your teeth. Try to eat your whole donut. Please remember while eating your donut you MUST NOT:

• Eat anyone else’s donut
• Make loud slurping sounds
• Look at another person’s donut
• Have napkins other than No.2 napkins
• Have electronic or recording devices even if you do not use them.

Please raise your hand if you have any questions.
When you have finished your donut and licked your fingers, put your napkin in the trashcan. Then you must sit and stare at everyone until they are finished.
Please raise your hand if you have any questions.
Remember, you have 10 minutes to eat your donut. I will tell you when you have 2 minutes left.
You may begin eating."

Authored by 
Tammy Beauchamp Cohen.

One serious note: In Florida, our teachers are required to read scripts to their students exactly like the above. Deviating from the script can result in test invalidation. I'm curious if other states require their teachers to read scripts such as this, as well.


Anonymous said...

Yes...we have a script booklet. Sometimes I feel like an idiot reading it. Like I would not have the good sense to ask the kids if they have any questions etc... The whole testing process if just plain frustrating!

Alica said...

Oh, I do love that! How perfect, since I was planning to give my kiddos donuts for their "testing treat" tomorrow. Thanks for sharing and making me smile!

Ripps-n-Lititz said...

Yes in PA we have our scripts.

The kids know the directions so well that they recite them with me under their breathe. When I mess up, they actually correct me. Wonder if that is a violation???

Crazy, huh?

Anonymous said...

Since blogger is blocked at school I will print a copy of this and share with teachers tomorrow since 3-5 is administering a math test this week. In NY we must adhere to the scripted manual as well. I agree with brachsmith, I did feel like an idiot reading it.

kchichester said...

We have them in Michigan. At the HS Level we give the mother of all scripted tests the ACT. Proctors can't breathe unless it's in the script. Let me tell you when you give it to students with a triple time accommodation, it gets really old, really quick. It's my week of insanity.

Grace Kat said...

Absolutely classic. LOL

loonyhiker said...

Yes, we have scripts in SC and some of them sound so silly!(now I am dying for a KK donut!!!! aaargh!)

Lee Kolbert said...

Unfortunately, the whole testing process makes us all feel like idiots (teachers and students). My particular favorite part though, is the part at the end of the "real" script that says, "answer any questions" - but we're not allowed to say anything at that point except what's on the script!

Anonymous said...

I made me smile then laugh today. Thanks...and I'm yearning for those donuts as well

Wicked Decent Learning said...

Lee, I once proctored the SAT II subject area test at my school. There was one student taking the test in that room that day. However, I felt compelled to read the part of the script that says "You may not share calculators with other students" and "when you are finished, you may not continue to any other section of the test and you must sit quietly to wait for others around you to finish". The student looked a little perplexed and we both laughed a little. You gotta love one-size-fits-all education don't ya?

Wicked Decent Learning Podcast

jennypilgrim said...

Yes, Alabama has a script booklet too. When I was in the classroom, we had to "practice" reading the script to one another. My favorite memory is hearing the teacher next door to me (she was about two questions behind me and this is first grade) read a passage and call martians MAR - T - UNS. This went on for 3 years!

Jenny Moon

Bonnie said...

Thanks for the chuckle! Of course, Massachusetts has its scripts too.

Our favorite part, which I always read melodramatically: "You must mark all of your answers in your answer booklet. Answers written in your test booklet will not be scored, and your test booklet will be destroyed following testing."

Witty said...

We have these scripts on Literacy and Numeracy standardized tests in Ontario, Canada. I think my staff will enjoy this one.

Anonymous said...

Yes, in both Massachusetts (where I currently teach) and in Illinois (my previous place of employment) teachers are required to read from a script. For me the worst part is reading the exact same words each test session.

Anonymous said...

Loved this! I'm printing it out and giving it to our principal with the suggestion of supplying us with donuts and a copy of this one day during our testing this week. Hopefully it will help lighten the mood in the building. Thanks for the smile

Anonymous said...

This is so funny. We have scripted state assessments in ks for the NY. Thanks for the laugh!

Unknown said...

This is hilarious - thank you so much, we don't take our exam instructions quite so seriously in South Africa, and, of course, our students make ask questions BEFORE the test begins. THis gave me such a laugh. :-D

IMC Guy said...

We have scripts for some of the testing we do in Wisconsin. I've read the script word for word, but then sometimes paraphrased so the students understood.

This was years ago, so if anyone from WI DPI is reading this, the tests are still valid! Don't take anyone's dipoma away.

Renee' said...

Kansas has one too. The rules change from year to year on how much you can deviate from the script!

Unknown said...

We have our provincial Grade 10 literacy testing this week (April 2) and I along with thousands of other teachers will be reading the same script at the same time on the same minute. UGH! William

Anonymous said...

I'm in NC and we also have a script to read. And get this: Every year we have to have a meeting where we sit down with the guidance counselor/testing coordinator, and they have to tell us exactly what to highlight in our scripts even though the scripts already have the teachers' "lines" in bold beside the word "say." Talk about ridiculous...

Unknown said...

Texas has scripts, too! I will definitely share this with my testing coordinator.

Unknown said...

WV has scripts too! Doesn't everyone?

Mr. Nauton said...

Ah, the script. Hard not to read in my android voice.
Hilarious post!