Friday, December 15, 2006


Updated below...

I got a letter yesterday from the School District. In the letter was the result of a test my son took. This was a statewide English test--part of a Board of Regents requirement, also rolled into the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act. Which I hate.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for high academic standards. What I don't like are unfunded (or, to be charitable, underfunded) mandates that increase the amount of paperwork while forcing teachers to teach to the tests, as opposed to getting their students to learn.


So this letter from the district explains to me that out of a possible 775 points on this English test, my son scored a 775.

And regardless of how I feel about the test, yes I was incredibly pleased and proud of him that he aced it.

But here's the thing: this test was given in January of this year. Eleven months ago.

As much as I dislike this test, it does give an estimate of how a child is doing academically. And the school district doesn't release the information until three months into the next school year? What good is a benchmark if you don't know what it is? What about the kids who did poorly? Half a semester has come and gone. Shouldn't parents know this information before the school year begins?

Too much of education is politics. Politics slow things down.

And yes, I'm writing the Superintendent about this. But I figured it's best to blow off steam here on the blog.

So yeah, you're sorta getting the rough draft of the letter here.

Okay. I'm done ranting. Enjoy your weekend.

12/16 10:47 pm: The mail today brought his statewide math score--merely nine months late this time. He 'only' got a 718 on this test, which tranlsates into a 93 average. We're trying not to be dissapointed.



Blogger elaine said...

*straightens 'proud dad' tri-horn*

1:33 AM  
Blogger Åsa said...

Congrats! That is so cool! Good for him :- )

Politics that slow down good things sucks.

Jingle on

Oh I forgot: if you haven’t heard “Driving home for Christmas” with Chris Rea – I can send it to you.

3:35 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

the same thing happens in FL. it is all about the FCAT.

but kudos (yeah, i said kudos) to your son for acing it!!

(or is it aceing it...i don't think i would have gotten a 775)

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we have some of the same issues here in Minnesota. The OH is resisting the temptation to teach to the tests also.

"no child left behind" what a crock. Bluntly? Some children should be left behind or others may be held back. There is a strong tendency to teach to the lowest common denominator.

All that said, Pirate Kid ROCKS!

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tests are bad.

More play.

Less tests.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

We have this thing called Education Quality Assessment Office. Or as my kids call it, Evil Question Attacking Ontario.

It goes in Grade 3, 6 and 9.

My daughter's done it twice now and the first time she didn't even finish it. She was busy thinking about unicorns. The second time, last year, she wrote flippant comments about how boring and stupid the test is.

And they say she's not gifted...

I wish they'd just teach my kids, I really do. I don't need a test to tell me how good the teacher is, because I can tell by what shape my kid comes home in. Y'know what I mean?

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admit that I feel a little sorry for the superintendent who's getting a letter of complaint from a parent whose child scored a perfect 775.

Of course it shouldn't take so long. On the other hand, the companies who grade such standardized test have a reputation around the country for being slow, inconsistent, and prone to screwups. The worst casualties are high school seniors denied graduation because of test scoring errors (see Minnesota, circa 2002). By the time the error came to light, students had been denied admission to colleges and were well into the next academic year of repeating high school or working at the local burger joint. Now that's eleven months too late.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, and congratulations! :)

2:32 PM  

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