This morning I got to witness first hand the benefits of SOL testing. My daughter, Analee, woke up five minutes late for school. Immediate snot-flinging ensued.
“Great! I’ll never make it! The teacher said not to be late because if we’re late we can’t take the test!” (tears)
The general “freak out” lasted about ten minutes before I was able to calm her down and assure her we still had time to get her ready.
“But I won’t even have time to eat breakfast!” (more tears)
I reminded her that eating a bowl of cereal could be done in five to seven minutes, tops.
“But where’s my coat!” (and more tears)
Got her coat,
and out the door.
Having had five children go through the public schools systems I’ve seen about every reaction to testing there is. None of it good.
Okay. So, I DO understand the need to measure the effectiveness of teaching but the standardized tests and the “No Child Left Behind Act” (while good in theory and a really lovely ideal) are two of the most ineffectual laws put into use today.
The result of turning learning into a product and not a process:
Overstressed, overwhelmed teachers.
Overstressed, overwhelmed students.
Cookie cutter curriculums which force individuals onto a collective middle ground leave little room or time for differential teaching techniques geared to the more advanced or the learning challenged child.
People. Children are not all the same. Some bright politician decided the “Core” curriculum for a third grader should include a large section on Greek Architecture.
I'll say that again because it’s so flabbergasting.
A 8-9 year old needs to learn about the different types of columns on the Parthenon? Why? So the next time they build a Greek temple they'll be sure to use the correct columns having learned the important aesthetic of ruffled marble?
Here’s an article:
Part two later.