Friday, September 30, 2011

Homeschool Bennies #21

We are free from excessive testing that gives no positive benefit to our children.

You would not believe - or maybe you would - the pressure surrounding state-mandated standardized testing in the schools.  The students are anxious and (some? most?) the teachers hate it too.

Yes, I understand, we need to have some means of evaluating what (and if!) kids are learning.  I get that.  But the testing has gotten all tangled up with AYP (is the school making Adequate Yearly Progress toward federal goals) and therefore funding.  And guess what that means.

Teaching to the test, which is a colossal waste of time and energy, and pressure.  Just this year I've read of scandals in two states where teachers helped the kids cheat on the tests, or went in afterwards and changed their answers so the schools would score better.  Principals were involved, and whole districts were implicated.

It's not pretty.

And how is this helping kids?


Felicity said...

Julie, I've really enjoyed these! Thanks for the encouragement and reminder of what we're doing and why we're doing it!!

Rachael Starke said...

Girrrrl, you go head and tell the truth.

Seriously. Our girls' school nearly Shut. Down. last week, when the principal (a godly man who knows what he's doing) made a sudden change in the math curriculum, away from the typical "one grade ahead so your kids will ace the SATs their Jr. year and get into Harvard".

So back to Saxon we went. Forget about the fact that it teaches kids what to know, but not how to think.


I do have it on very good authority that he may have found someone to help him sneak the other curriculum in and start using it anyway.....;)