Saturday, April 25, 2009

When She Fails the TAKS Test.... will be once again "a failure of our education system".

This story has dominated the local news for the past week: (drunken driver drove his car into a flooded bayou while talking on his cell phone. 5 children drowned, the father, another adult and 1 child survived. None of the children were wearing seat belts or in car seats. Father, who had a long criminal record is currently in jail charged with 5 counts of manslaughter).

One of the follow-ups reported that the one child who lived - a 10 year old girl is in foster care. She'd been living with her father (the drunken ex-con) for about a month. Her mother checked her out of the hospital but CPS took custody since Mom has a serious substance abuse issue.

1 month with Dad = 1 school, Foster care = a 2nd school. Number of schools attended between August and move in with Dad = unknown but even if it's just 1 (highly unlikely) that's still 3 schools within the space of 1 school year.

At age 10 she's either in the 4th or 5th grade (we hope). This upcoming week is TAKS test week - 4th graders take the reading and math test and 5th grade a science test.

This child, who just survived an horrific accident, who lost her siblings and half siblings and who is a poster child for "dysfunctional home life" is expected to sit at a desk for 8 hours and take a test and give it her personal best. The chances of her passing the TAKS test are slim to none. Her score will impact whatever school she attended on "snapshot" day which is in October.
The school will get the "ding" and the blame.

Nowhere in "No Child Left Behind" is there any accountability for home life and personal circumstances. NCLB assumes educating children is no different than factory farming chickens.
You apply the latest and greatest and hey presto, perfectly educated children and record egg production.

Only difference is, the factory farms can cull the hens who don't measure up to the standard, the schools can't.


Library Girl said...

I had to comment, but I have nothing to say except that you are SPOT on. This test is the reason I left the classroom. I couldn't deal with the stress any longer. Now I still deal with it, but in a different way. Blech.

Butterfly Angel said...

I agree...students are human beings, not robots. Good luck with your TAKS administration. My days are Thursday & Friday.