Tuesday, May 22, 2007

No Child Left Behind

Jon Stewart had Secretary of Education Spellings on his show tonight. She actually said that she's not heard a single parent say that they want their child removed from the program.

I can't say I'm surprised. It isn't that parents aren't saying "this is nuts!", it's that the administration doesn't listen to anyone who might criticize them. It is completely nuts the stress they put on our kids and the class time that is wasted is criminal.

I can't count the number of benchmarks my child took to get them ready for their TAKS.

Plus! Because scores are the be-all end-all, recess is almost nonexistant. So kids are getting fat. They get gym 3 times per week (if they're lucky) and about 10 minutes of recess each day. Nevermind the studies that show that students will remember what they learn if the learning is broken up by periods of aerobic exercise, running around wastes valuable class time. And because there aren't enough hours in the school day to make sure kids really get it, they send home an hour or more of homework each night (starting in 1st grade). So kids can't even exercise once they get home.

Count me in as a parent who would opt out given the choice. And frankly, I know lots of parents who have opted out - they simply put their kids in private schools.


Tanya Brown said...

This is heartbreaking. Kids are having their childhoods stolen away.

Hopefully a great deal of this nonsense will go the way of the dinosaurs in a couple of years, but in the meantime our little ones pay the price.

Rod said...

I am the parent who said no more to TAKS testing. My 8 year old child moved with us to the USA and we duly entered him in a Texas public school. We researched the available schools and picked one with a good academic record. Second mistake. The record was achieved by teaching to the test and ONLY teaching to the TAKS test. Our son endured months of heartache, frustration and abuse at the hands of an inflexible system and staff forced to hothouse students in a manner totally against their training and instincts. There was no allowance for his lack of familiarity with the US (what are pecks and bushels?), and no support available other than additional hours of test taking.

He is now in a private school, which is against my egalitarian principles, but provides an educational environment better in so many ways that it was the only acceptable option.

I am aware that this option is not available to all, but so many children must be suffering under this frankly abusive system that I am surprised that I don't hear many more voices raised in protest. If there is a flag to rally round, please tell me - I am very willing to support change for the advantage of our children.