Thursday, May 11, 2006

Education! Good grief.

This has been a busy few weeks. WASL (Washington Assessment of Student Learning) finally ended yesterday for me, when the district picked up all of our testing materials. I have no issue with testing. Kids can handle it, our teachers prepare them well, and they have a strong sense of accomplishment afterwards. My objection is to using it as the only assessment of student accomplishment. Thanks to Bush and the Federal Government and No Child Left Behind we are mandated to test ALL students by the same standard. This means that students in gifted education programs are tested by the same standard as students in Functional Academic Classrooms. Functional Academics usually means mentally retarded, learning disabled, can't read, and so on. Then there's the Life Skills kids: these are the children who are learning such things as using the toilet... And we mustn't forget the English Language Learners. It doesn't matter that they have been in the country a year, that they don't speak English, and certainly haven't learned to read it yet (language acquisition takes 5-7 years), but never mind, we are going to test this in English at the same level as all US born children. Oh dear...I can feel myself starting to rant here. A lot of things in public education are wrong, but the solution is not to take the money away and give it to private schools who are not required to test or follow any of the federal rules. For Heaven's Sake, what are legislators and lawmakers thinking with? On the other hand, my grandson is in great shape. I kept him Friday evening for a couple of hours. We played outside where he rode his "bike" over the peanuts I had thrown out for the squirrels, and he loved his litrtle tent. When we came in, I put him up on a chair at the kitchen sink and filled the sink with warm, soapy water. He did the dishes for a long time, until I thought we had enough water everywhere, and then we played some more while we changed his diaper and got his jammies on. My sadness is that I can't have all of them here to do things with. But I'm making plans...

1 comment:

Seeker said...

Yeah, you gotta get 'em all together. By the way, how many is "all"?
With you for a gramma, Little Guy will be tops at reading AND life skills. Gotta take advantage of his wanting to "help" now. The day will probably come when he turns up his nose at doing dishes. Ya think?