Everyone thinks they have the answer to this question. Teacher incompetence. Lack of funding. Poorly written curriculum. I think it's something else.
Our first day back from winter break was a teacher work day. Following the district pacing guide, we should have been in the second of a five week unit on persuasion. With the first week of this unit being right before a three week holiday break I like to spend the the first day back reinforcing classroom rules and procedures (especially helpful to the four new students that were placed in my class that day) and then move into reading and analyzing another example persuasive writing before we jump head long into the deep end (process) of writing. I wanted to confirm how much time I had, so I called the language arts department chair to confirm date for the district writing assessment which is usually in early February. The department chair didn't see the writing assessment anywhere on the calendar (I hadn't found it either). When I got to work the next day, there was an email stating that the assessment would be given January 21st. With only four days for instruction, a national holiday, and the inauguration the day before the prompt, my plans had to be changed. I was able to incorporate the inaugural speech into my instruction on persuasion, but the saga continued. By Friday, the date was changed to the 29th to give everyone more instructional time. This meant more plan tweaking.
I recently found out that they were so busy adding new