A Little Vent

The message is loud and clear: testing is the entire point and purpose of public education in the U.S. today.

My children have almost two months of school left, but for all practical purposes school is over by the 14th of April. You see the AIMS testing is happening during the second week of April here. This test is all you hear about from the time school begins. It’s is the nationwide test that serves the purpose of determining how smart our children are and thus if their school and teachers did their job to government satisfaction. (There’s a scary thought.) The entire year is spent cramming and training for success in taking the test. One could argue – I know I often do – that this “coaching to test well” has replaced teaching.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that my daughter’s math tutoring program ended last week. It doesn’t matter that there’s nearly two full months of school left, nor that she was running at full steam finally grasping many of the concepts. Similarly, I heard the announcement over the intercom last week at my son’s school that art classes were also finished for the year. I’m looking around wondering if I’m the only one who thinks it doesn’t make sense to end teaching programs two months before school is out. When I went to school you had maybe one or two days of freebies at the very end of the year which involved cleaning desks, tables, turning in books, etc. I can’t figure out why they don’t move the testing back a month making full use of their time and keeping learning going.

To me the message is loud and clear that learning is not the focus or primary objective for our public education system nor the many government regulated programs surrounding it like “No Child Left Behind Act.” No wonder we’re behind on the learning curve. And if we think our kids aren’t smart enough to figure this out then we’re in even bigger trouble.

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6 comments on “A Little Vent

  1. So, they’re just preparing for the test during the next 2 months? I’m surprised that the BOE even allows this! Seems like the school year is getting shorter and shorter.

    Sadly, the test is next week and this week they’re preparing with sample tests – no homework, no normal schedule. Seems like a dumb way to prep for success to me but what do I know? Sadly, the month plus after the test will be a complete bust with no preparation and no stress for learning either. With all the half days I keep feeling the year get shorter and shorter myself! LOL

  2. I think in some ways foreign countries have a good idea where school is all year round with small breaks throughout the year. Since everything you learn you forget. I know since I was in college recently and had to pull stuff back from highschool 9th grade and i’m like i haven’t taken those classes in years or i wish i took xyz class and thre just was never enough time.

    I know what you mean!

  3. I agree with Pajama Mommy.

    There’s wisdom in that. 😉

  4. Annelise still have reading tutoring for another month. At our school AIMS was not so talked about it, just the last 2 weeks they asked us not to make the docs and dentist appointments during that week. All our classes are still going till the last week. We don’t feel the end till the final week. I think it may be the school. It seems to me that we still have a lot going on for the rest of the year, I even wonder if we are going to be able to fit all in.
    I think that the key is if the school make it a big deal or not.Our is just ok.
    hugs

    The administrative focus is huge and of course my sharing what I get here is but a small piece of the puzzle, it just seems like common sense has gone out the window.

  5. I do agree with you that some administrations do focus a lot more on the end result them the porcess it self, and being worry about a test more them the individual child. Sad, oh so sad..
    hugs

    It is sad to me too.

  6. We don’t have that problem in Oregon. Then again, I don’t think our state ranks high in test scores either. But at least they get all their classes for the full school year.

    I just wish it wasn’t about test scores today.

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