Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Public vs Private

We live in a crappy school district.

It's our fault. When we bought our house, we looked at the district's state rating and their test scores. We looked at drop out rates and college acceptions. We thought we knew what we were getting into.

Oh how wrong we were.

The issue however is not just a district one. The real issue is what our public education system has become.

The issue began way back in the 1980's when Mark White instituted "No Pass No Play" This was to make some necessary changes to our state education standards. Ideally, no student athlete would graduate from a Texas school unable to read.

I am a product of No Pass No Play. I took TABS and TEAMS but the bastard step sibling of today's TAKS. way back when - teachers did not just TEACH the TEAMS. for all intents and purposes - a monkey could pass the test. If you had a pulse and sat upright - the test was a cakewalk.

The along came No child LeftBehind Mandating that reading skills need to be learned earlier - like by the end of third grade. Really? you think so.

No Child Left Behind and it's culture of "teaching the test" has bastardized our education system. Only TAKS skills are taught - well killed and drilled.

The result kids can read and comprehend BUT they cannot think for themselves. There is no room for interpretation. No longer are Texas children learning to think critically.

Children with special needs are spoon fed JUST enough information to pass this test. Teachers and schools are awarded or penalized based on these test scores.

we have lost site of what is important. Learning for the sake of knowledge and the desire to expand your way of thinking. Instead of turning out young adults who can think on their feet and look at an issue and analyze. we are turning out kids who can regurgetate basic facts in bubble filled multiple choice form.

Is this what we want for our children - our future?

1 comment:

Robyn said...

Hey there. You need to read "Cloning of the American Mind" by Beverly Eakman. I'm not saying private school is better, ours accepts public funding and therefore is subject to many of the same tests. It is maddening to think our tax dollars go to pay not for our kids' educations, but rather, a huge government experiment. It's a wonder that parents don't all just get fed up and say at the same time, "Enough!" BTW, Bev has a new book out, "Walking Targets". Makes you want to buy 25 acres in Montana and just hide from the world.