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Just a minor educational rant

So I was going to try to do a Mother's Day post yesterday (Happy Mother's Day!) which I didn't get around to, partly because I read this instead and it left me more disturbed than I thought should be appropriately transferred to the Day of All Moms.  (Please stay tuned for a general spewing of personal and possibly incendiary opinions.)

Basically, this article details a local PUBLIC school who has been discouraging disabled students from attending because the school has high test scores and didn't want them compromised.   

I mean, seriously, what the fuck?!

First off, it's a public school.  It's your job to educate the public.  That means all of the public.  Second, why the fuck are you beating on the disabled kids?!  Because, in general, that's considered pretty low.  And if you're OK with that you're certainly not going to have a problem beating on any other kids that don't fit your standard either, at least eventually.  (Start with the extreme cases and then start whittling down, right?  What's this civil rights thing you keep talking about?) 

Third, (and I know this is the one people will get mad about because it should be the least disturbing point made) I'm not convinced that solely "teaching to the test" is a long term benefit for our kids. There!  I said it!  This is an opinion formed completely from personal experiences and anecdotal sources but I still believe it's true.  Sources such as hearing my husband bitch year after year of interviewing kids out of school who've got great grades but rudimentary-to-zero social skills or common sense.  Basically, kids he won't hire!  I've seen situations where schools/teachers seem more concerned with teaching the academics than with the children learning those academics.  I've heard (though I haven't read any yet) there are studies out now showing the to the test method isn't exactly providing students with other often deemed necessary life skills.  And frankly, seeing the stress put on kids to pass all those tests - especially considering that they may not get hired after all their work - I think that stress is rather unfair to the children.

Yes, I think education is important (and if you knew me in person you would know how passionate I am about continuous learning and education) but I'm more an advocate for a happy, well-rounded child with great self esteem than I am for pushing extreme academics. 

And I know that opinion is not going to give me an in with the legions of parents who are on preschool waiting lists because they think that's the right road for their child to get to Stanford.

I am seriously concerned about a mindset, be it from a teacher, a school, or other parents, that is so concerned with test scores they are willing to push other children out.  I mean, yeah, I kind of expect that from some private schools, but if this is trickling over into the culture of the public system?   

It just brings me right back to this.

I feel compelled to research what it takes to get a charter proposal together.  I just cannot sit around and be at the mercy of this crap without trying to do something.             

             - the weird (yeah, I got some fucking opinions) girl

P.S. I never took the SATs and yet I not only went on to college but also to graduate school.  (Didn't take the GREs either.) 

Comments

blooot

Public Law 94-142 (I'm pretty sure that's the right one, but it's been a few years since I've been a teacher) states that all students have a right to an education in the least restricted envrironment.

The fact that there's a public school with educators who don't have that at the forefront of their minds is disconcerting.

carol

I am one of those people perfectly suited to succeed in the academic life. If I never had to do anything but go to school I would have been a resounding success. However, school ended and life started, I'm almost 50 and feel like an epic failure. How can you get A's and B's all thru school, be at the top of your class (small, private school, but still) and then fail so miserably in life? Because life and school are two way different things and most schooling doesn't teach you how to succeed in life, that's why.

the weirdgirl

bloort - Thank you! My point exactly.

Carol - You're right and I think we should work on teaching our kids both skill sets. You sound so down, honey. I'm sure you're not a failure at anything!

Hannah

Just catching up to this now, and wow - shocking, truly. I'm gobsmacked.

Teaching to the test doesn't work, in my opinion. I know an awful lot of people who had basically straight A's in high school and are flunking out of life because all they know how to do is study.

Great rant.

Scott

Couldn't agree with you more. Here in Florida, it's the same situation (and has been so, for years). I've substitute-taught here, and one of my cousins is a full-time teacher.

I have felt, since this testing started, that it is a very good idea, and is workable. But it's gotten out of control. Teachers are having to spend far more time teaching students how to to take these tests, than teaching them the basics.

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