Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Panic! At The Schoolhouse

As I schlep my teenage daughter to see her favorite punk/pop/emo/whatever the heck they are band, I keep hearing the word "panic" over and over and over.  Now, I'm not oblivious...I know this is in the name of the headliner.  It says so on the tshirts.  I just keep thinking about the panic that I left at work today.

This week marks the beginning of testing season.  I have apologized to each and every one of my students on behalf of the public education system for the three weeks of interruption to their education.  During these next few weeks, all the fun is sucked right out of our schools.  Discovery is replaced by regurgitation of facts and formulae.  Higher thinking is shelved in favor of drill and kill math "intervention" in which students are pulled aside for hours a day to practice their testing skills.  Stress us up.  Attendance is down.  Morale in the teacher's lounge is toxic.

We are college educated professionals.  Surely we can come up with a better way to assess our students and evaluate the effectiveness of our teachers than this.  II just really can't believe in my heart that our state department wants this for us.  How could they?  Don't they realize what's happening?

Teachers are demoralized.  Parents are angry.  Students are frustrated.  

And this is an election year. 

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