School’s Over When the Tests are Done

You guys got pretty riled up the other week when I posted about these ridiculous state tests and the Common Core standards, so if we’re gonna talk education, let’s get all the cards out on the table. Is this what your child’s education looks like?

  • no spelling tests
  • no grammar
  • no times tables by rote
  • no show and tell
  • no handwriting
  • teaching to the tests and learning how to fill in bubble sheets. ( A very important skill *eyeroll*)

Do they still have:

  • collaborative learning
  • hands on manipulatives
  • creative writing
  • field trips
  • art/music
  • after school programs

As the funding gets tighter and the teachers are being held accountable by state test gradings. It’s a wonder our kids can function at all.

School is almost over now, for some states it already is…My kids are basically marking time, not really doing too much in the way of learning. It’s not the teachers’ fault, it’s just the way of the system. June is the month of field trips. Miss Gremlin brought a list home the other day with so many trips to fill in the next 3 weeks that it made my head spin.. not to mention my wallet 😉

Grand Master D’s math/science teacher left the week before the  April tests to have her baby and I am happy for her, you can’t always plan these things, but it’s left the upper grades, 7 and 8 with out a teacher..and while Admin has scrambled to find a replacement, several in fact who just don’t show, the kids have not really been learning much. The law requires a licensed math teacher to teach the curriculum but aren’t all the sub’s licenced to teach? Why so many hoops? Why can’t the subs just pick up in the text and continue on? Grand Master D has complained and complained about being bored in the mornings, doing puzzles and worksheets. It’s a worry.. April to end of june.. no teacher? It’s glorified babysitting with the subs, not to mention missing instruction. How’s that going to count to the kids end of year scores?


And now there’s a ground swell among many principals, that they will be disregarding the test results this year anyway for the admissions process. They were unfair, too hard, too long. The kids didn’t finish them, students were very stressed,some crying. It’s makes me worry for what comes next. Is this the death nell for state testing? One can only hope…. right?

For a laugh, the kids are home today… It’s Chancellor’s Day. Whatever that means….. By all means let’s have a thursday off school for no real reason when our 13 week summer break is a mere 3 weeks away. And we wonder why our kids aren’t ready for college or real life for that matter…


Comments 14

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  1. *ugh*… I’m no fan of the state tests!

    I asked my daughter yesterday, “Are you excited to be finished with 2nd grade? Are you excited to be a 3rd-grader?”

    Her response: “I’m scared to start 3rd grade.”

    When I asked why she was scared, her answer made me want to choke people: “Because we have to take the OAAs [Ohio Achievement Assessments] next year, and I’m afraid they will be too hard!” Then she started crying.

    There is something wrong when a child is terrified to move up a grade due to the pressure of upcoming tests. Mind you, my daughter is in advanced reading and aces all the preparation practice tests… but the fact that they’ve been made into such a huge stressful deal an entire year in advance has me all kinds of angry. I ended up having to tell her (as I did my son, in the past), “I don’t care what the school says, and what any teacher tells you. Those tests are stupid and have no impact on you. Try your best, but don’t listen if anybody tries to make you believe they are important. They aren’t.”

    Of course she argues that the teachers are in charge at school, they know the test is important, mommy don’t understand, etc., blah blah blah. I reminded her, “Everybody makes mistakes. Even teachers fart or trip. And in this case? They are dead wrong. I’m telling you, trust me on this. Those tests have nothing to do with you.” Now I have all summer to cool her off (I keep her on a summer bridge curriculum and make her read + write daily; we follow that with trips to the pool), but I’m sure 3rd grade will have her all freaked out over it again starting on Day 1.

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      I’m so very sorry your daughter feels like this. The education department and even the school should be ashamed of themselves, freaking children out like this… Look into your options for opting out of the test next year. I know you can do it New York.

  2. When I read posts like this, I am so grateful that my son (now a rising third grader) is in a Montessori charter school where he still has creative manipulatives, hands on learning, free choice to go as wide or as deep into any subject he chooses and on top of that is ALSO learning about community, about courtesy and respect and personal responsibility. In our school, we are fortunate that the teachers do teach to the test, but in a way that makes sense for acquiring knowledge, not test-taking skills. For our students, again we are fortunate, the test is merely a way to demonstrate what they already know because they’re learning so far above what the test actually tests. I had a talk with my son’s teacher, who he’ll have again next year in his multi-age classroom, about how our school approached our state tests and she told me she took a NO DRAMA, NO STRESS approach and every student passed with flying colors. By contrast, my girlfriend in a neighboring county told me that at her FCAT orientation she was told that if her kids were going to vomit during the test, they should be counseled to vomit on the floor, not the test, so it could still be put through the reader. WTF?? My son expressed some concern about doing FCAT next year (or whatever they change it to) but I reminded him that the test was just like the worksheets he does every day so there’s no reason to worry. He was fine with that. And I’ll re-emphasize that message next year too. Thanks for a great post!

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  3. Ugh!! So frustrating when your kid has a sub for a few months and learning stops. Ridiculous. One of my kids had a teacher that was out constantly and so they had a sub in and out all year…learning constantly interrupted. It was frustrating!

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  4. I hate the state testing with a purple passion. In addition to making life hard on teachers, it robs the kids of the ability to learn without feeling like a million eyes are watching. They get so wound up about passing these ridiculous tests – which don’t mean anything in the grand scheme of your life – they become physically ill. Really? This is how we improve education?

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