DDMs (District Determined Measures) have been implemented in my school district this year. I understand that the purpose of the DDMs is to compare how well my students are learning the standards being taught compared to students of other teachers across the district. I do not agree with how these DDMs are being administered. All science teachers were forced to give the first quarter DDMs to ALL of their students a few weeks ago. The thing is that not all students are taught the material at the same point in time during the school year. For example:

– Teacher (A) teaches all of her students for 45 minutes everyday through out the school year.
– Teacher (B) teaches half of her students for 80 minutes/day during the first and second quarters and the other half of her students for 80 minutes/day during the third and fourth quarters.
– Teacher (C) teaches half of her students for 80 minutes/day during the first and third quarters and the other half of her students for 80 minutes/day during the second and fourth quarters.

So ALL students of teachers A, B, and C were required to take these DDMs regardless of whether they had science class first quarter or not, some students have not had science at all yet. This resulted in a lot of frustration from students. Some students were sobbing during the test with tears rolling down their faces. They said they felt “stupid”, “dumb”, and “like and idiot” because they did not understand the material on the test. It pained many teachers and I to see this reaction in our students. Part of our job is to inspire a love for science, not make students feel like they are inferior or not capable of mastering the material. I do not blame them for feeling the way they did. I would probably feel the same way if I were in their shoes. Teachers should not be forced to test their students on material that they have not yet been taught. I do not even see how this could possibly be used as a true DDM since teachers all over the district are given different schedules to teach their students, not to mention some teachers only teach one grade, while some teach two, and others are the only middle school teacher in their school and are responsible for teaching all three grades.

What are your thoughts?

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