Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Some Kids are Going to Be Left Behind...

Day one of the state mandated tests (you can thank the shrub for this emphasis on testing - he unleashed it while governor of Texas). According to NCLB all kids are supposed to pass these things or the schools ARE NOT DOING THEIR JOB.

Kids are not apples or oranges or even chickens. They aren't all the same. The tests usually are no problem for the bright to normal kids - other than the total boredom that sets in while they pre-test, post test, benchmark test and review test. The kids with a low IQ (the cut off in Texas is 70) are considered special ed, and while they too have a test to take, it's geared to their ability and educational goals. The kids with learning disabilities are allowed to test with modifications.

It's the not so bright kids, the kids on the downside of the bell curve, the ones who work hard and to the best of their potential who are slipping through the cracks. They aren't eligible for Resource / pull out programs because they haven't a learning disability and there isn't a gap between their IQ and their academic performance. They are to "smart" for special ed or life skills program. But they aren't bright enough to score the 90+% that's required for a school to gain the highly coveted superior ratings. And they know it.

Not All Children are Little Engines... Posted by Hello

They attend tutoring after school and on Saturdays, do extra homework, try their very best but sometimes they just can't get it.

I can't imagine being expected to achieve 90% mastery in something that, try though I might I just can't master. I am not gifted musically. No matter how many lessons I endure, no matter how much I practice I can't sing on key nor play an instrument with any degree of proficiency. Music classes for me were pure torture and I was grateful they were only given a couple of times a week.

That's what school is like for these children. They stumble, pick themselves up, stumble again and keep on trying. It's a testament to their character that they just don't give up.

One would think the shrub would be sympathetic to their plight. He was, as he is proud to tout only a C student, so chances are he was one of those student himself!


Julie said...

In our district (Ann Arbor, Michigan) the bright kids are also slipping through the cracks. There's so much emphasis on bringing the slow-to-average kids up to speed that the bright kids are totally passed over. It's up to the parents to do enrichment activities. That's okay, we do plenty of enriching stuff anyway, but that doesn't change the fact that my son is BORED for six hours every day. I don't blame the teachers, who for the most part are caring, loving, talented people. It's not their fault that they're required to make sure, for example, that every kindergartener can distinguish penny, nickel, dime. It's that d**n "shrub" and his No Child Left Behind. Grrr!

mulligan said...

Shrub's brother (Jeb in FL) has said that the kids in my state that can't hack it on the test can get vouchers to private schools. There are three(if not more) problems with that. One, private schools don't have to accept or keep these kids. If they aren't performing well enough, they can be kicked out. Two, private schools do not have to provide any additional help to these students. Three, public schools are expected to take these stupid tests to prove that they are educating students appropiately. Private schools have no accountability at all.

I won't even talk about the scandals surrounding how the voucher programs have been (mis)managed in this state.


Library Lady said...

I firmly believe that if we lavished the care and attention the schools focus on the so-called "gifted and talented" (generally a code for socially and or economically advantaged) kids on the slow to average and average kids, we could bring a lot more of them up to speed.
EVERY child has a talent, and some are not academic. But we have to make them believe that they can succeed, and that starts with basic academics!