DODEA students could lose up to week of classroom learning

DODEA students could lose up to week of classroom learning

by Gary Hritz
Federal Education Association

The management of the Department of Defense Education Activity recently informed the Federal Education Association (FEA) of its intention to no longer allow educators in kindergarten through third grade (K-3) classes to have a substitute teacher in their classroom while those educators administer the mandatory Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) reading assessments twice each school year. As explained in the accompanying “FACTS ABOUT THE BAS ISSUE” document, this decision will result in students losing a week or more of valuable classroom learning time each school year.

The following statement is attributable to Chuck McCarter, Federal Education Association President and an educator with over 30 years teaching experience:

“DoDEA’s decision to stop making subs available during BAS testing makes no sense and will hurt kids.

“For the BAS assessment results to be worth anything, the teachers must be able to give each child their undivided attention for upwards of 45 minutes. How can a teacher possibly do that while simultaneously providing meaningful instruction for 18 to 20 other children? Obviously, they can’t, which means either the quality of the assessments must suffer or the quality of learning that takes place in the classroom during the five or six days assessments are conducted each year must suffer – or both.

“Since the BAS was introduced in 2011, educators have always had the option of requesting a sub. That practice should continue, otherwise management is just wasting a lot of time and resources and taking valuable learning time away from students.”

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