Monday, March 3, 2008

Mastering the Mastery

If you have a child in elementary school, you are undoubtedly well aware that today is the beginning of the Connecticut Mastery Test, the results of which will be used to determine federal funding, per the asinine No Child Left Behind Act.

And I don't use the word "asinine" lightly. As a parent of elementary-school age kids, I've seen how many months have been spent teaching my children to learn to take tests, you know, a practical skill to have as opposed to reading, writing, arithmetic, art, science or any other legitimate school subject. I've also seen how the school administration and teachers have constantly bombarded the students with the "importance" of the test (because their heads are on the line if they lose funding), so much so that my third-grader has told me that he's worried about the test and what's going to happen to him if he doesn't pass it. He was actually very stressed about it until I explained that nothing will happen to him and he's not really the one being tested here.

Look, I understand the law came out of wanting better education for our children, and that testing is needed to measure where their education is at, but if it's gotten to the point that everyone is freaking out about it and not concentrating on actual learning, I have to wonder if maybe the law doesn't need to be tweaked, if not outright scrapped.


Judd said...

I agree completely. This new found "TEACHING TO THE TEST" leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. It is not enought that our children are bombarded with what I call an overabundance of other cultures, we havee forgotten our own Country it's merits and strengths. I wonder home many kids know who Abner Doubleday was and what his contributions were?
It has come to the point where the educational system is proud that the Test Results were strong, yet the actual learning and the ability to apply it is next to nil.

Pamela said...


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